Would You Risk A Friendship To Save A Girlfriend From Being Abused? [By: Amanda Scott]

If there’s one topic that hits very close to home for me, it’s domestic abuse. Unfortunately I grew up in a home where there was abuse and I almost found myself in an abusive relationship as well, but thanks to the glory of God I had the strength to walk away from that situation. I preach to all my girlfriends that they need to avoid abusive men like the plague the first second he steps out of line, and never give him a second chance, because the next time it could cost her more than some stitches…it could cost her, her life! But now that I have a friend who is in a relationship with a man we all know “was” abusive, but hasn’t hit her yet, it’s hard to imagine what the next step should be.

I have a friend who is seeing a boy named “Harry” and we all know that Harry is abusive. In or small group of friends, one of my girls has an old classmate who went to college with Harry in another state, also and dated him…and she got beat up by Harry on more than one occasion! Not only did he push and hit her, but he also choked her almost until she passed out. The reason my close girlfriend even knows this is because Harry ended up in the newspaper and charges were pressed against him. So when my girlfriend saw my other girl rolling around town with Harry, she came to us and told us his history…but it left us in the terrible position of having to break the news to a woman who is so into her new man that things could go all down hill.

As a woman, it is hardwired in me to give other women the benefit of the doubt in many situations, but if there is one thing we need to change as a group, it’s how we react to hearing bad news about our boyfriends, from our girlfriends! Some women don’t even want to hear what their girlfriend is saying, and will instantly accuse her of being a hater or trying to steal her man…and because we don’t want to lose her as a friend, we tend to tread lightly so we don’t offend her. Our particular friend who is head over heels for Harry does tend to react like that, so me and my girls are in a tough place: Do we warn her about Harry and possibly lose a lifelong friend or do we just sit back and closely monitor the situation and jump only when we have solid proof?

Well, let me tell you what I chose to do: Me and my ex-classmate called Harry on 3-way and basically told him that if one-hair on my friends head is outta place, we will be calling everyone from the Ray-Ray to the DA to come get him, and I know he got that messagebut that doesn’t guarantee that he won’t put his damn paws on her if he gets heated in a fit of rage!

So, I ask you TIYC readers, would you risk a close friendship to save a girlfriend from being abused?

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

26 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/18/2012 at 4:36 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, What Would YOU Do If You Were In Amanda's Situation? Would You Tell Your Friend And Risk Having Her Hate You, Or Would You Keep It To Yourself Until He Stepped Out Of Line?

    Also, Do You Think Once A Man Is Abusive He Will FOREVER Be Abusive, Or Can A Man Truly Change His Ways?

    • Reds

      09/18/2012 at 11:32 AM

      Ive been in one … and I know as stupid as I was at the time – Women in those situations dont see the warning signs and make excuses for the man as if it was in reaction to something "she" did – or validating it as he was "stressed" or "i warranted it".
      When people saw the warning signs and the sad attempt to cover bruises etc and would let me know or try to have an intervention – it would anger me and I would on more than one occasion walk away – ONLY because I knew they were right – and because in my weak and broken self didn't know how to walk away from the problem.
      PEOPLE with friends in this situation – TELL THEM – if they are worth that much to you get your hands dirty and lay it down for that person. Let them walk away let them "not talk to you" let them yell and cuss and tell you that you don't know what you are talking about – end of the day regardless of the consequence you know you were a FRIEND and you did what you could – if its extreme then you need to take it FURTHER (self explanatory)

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        09/18/2012 at 12:19 PM

        How could your friends have helped you earlier?

        • Reds

          09/20/2012 at 11:42 AM

          be persistent – be that in your face friend – confront both parties in person – see the reactions – yea the end result is debatable – but i knew the ex hated anyone knowing – and bring people around to talk to these people that will make that person open their eyes and check – my boy who is a member of TPS pretty much threatened me with the consequences and the what could be's and who i used to be and how this person was some person NO ONE recognized!!!! you have to dig them into the grave to get a result – it worked for me …. consistent friends that did not give up – BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!!!

  2. O'Brian Newell

    09/18/2012 at 5:00 AM

    Interesting post, I undoubtedly think that it is right to let your friend know who they are dealing with. But, you shouldn't judge someone by their past either – in this post it doesn't give both sides to the story which there always are 2-sides. And if the guy ain't done your friend wrong why threaten him – for me that's the wrong thing to do.

    • mena

      09/18/2012 at 5:12 AM

      Agree with you.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/18/2012 at 5:37 AM

      Interesting point. I think there's a logical side and an emotional side to this debate that we have to take into account. I don't think it's that easy to be completely rational when you have seen and heard what abuse that man is capable of.

  3. mena

    09/18/2012 at 5:32 AM

    You messed up royally and I would be heated.

    First and foremost, the chick is your friend and the guy owes you nothing. It's not your relationship to get involved in by speaking to the guy. You don't know the entire story and you took the word from some chick and took the information to HIM and not to your friend. You've literally placed your friendship in a screwed up position. Your friend is an adult and as such deserves to be told and you should respect that fact that she makes decisions for herself and not the other way around. How do you know that they haven't already discussed this and she accepted it? How do you know that he isn't seeking counseling? How do you know that the woman was telling the entire truth about him? You jumped without thinking and bc of that, i feel that you should sit your friend down and explain to her everything that has transpired. She will make the decision that is best for her and whether you agree with it or not, you have the choice to be there for her or walk away. You also need to sit there and listen if she chews you out for going to her guy and not directly to her.

    This is what you should have done: sat your homegirl down and explained the information you found out about Harry, the person who told you about Harry, and print out the police report if you need to. Now what she does with the information provided is up to her. You did your part. But by going behind her back, calling her man on three way with another person, and threatening him is not the way to go about it. It makes you look like a bully and a control freak–the same type of person you want to save your friend from.

    People in abusive relationships are there for a reason and no matter how clear the picture may be to an outsider, until that person is ready to leave and take the steps to leave, all you can do is be there for the person or remove yourself from the situation.

    You treated your friend like a child that needs to be protected instead of like an adult that is able to make decisions for herself.

    • alexxussknight

      09/18/2012 at 11:01 AM

      At first I was like yup that's what I would do, hell I've threatened a few people in my life too, but you do make some excellent points and I agree her friend should be the first to spoken with. So she knows if she can't handle it, that's on her, you've done your duty as a friend.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        09/18/2012 at 12:17 PM

        What if they knew the friend couldn't handle it?

        • Smilez_920

          09/18/2012 at 12:36 PM

          If the friend can't handle it you can't either. Yea you might beat him up, but she'll go right back if she's not ready to let go. Her friends can only help but so much if she's not willin to leave the guy.

          The friend might call the cops but, If the girl drops the chargers , or still ends up sticking by him when he gets locked up then what ?

  4. Smilez_920

    09/18/2012 at 7:17 AM

    As a friend you should have told her. A real friend tells me what I need to know regardless of my reaction. You said he was in the newspaper , show her the evidence.

    I will say you might have messed up by calling him, that's something that could a) trigger him off or b) he could tell your friend and she could be mad at you guys for not coming to her first and letting her handle it , by herself.

    Your friend is an adult , she has to make her own choice. Maybe he learned his lesson from what he did in college and has changed. If he hasn't I hope you trust your friend enough as an adult , for her to not stay with someone who is abusive. If you fear that she would stay in a situation like that, then you have a whole different issue on your hands. Also how do you know she wasn't already aware of his past, and just didn't tell you because , IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUISNESS, at this point . Maybe they've discussed the issue and she's willing to give him a chance. As long as he hasn't put his hands on her , she's good. I know we all want to be our friends HERO , but sometimes you have to fall back.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/18/2012 at 12:20 PM

      That "none of your business" point is troubling to me when it comes to abuse. I know my sisters relationships is technically none of my business, but when abuse is involved it's a completely different thing.

      • Smilez_920

        09/18/2012 at 12:33 PM

        Yea but they don't know that for sure. And they are going to cause more damage by jumping the gun. It's not their business to call that man and get tough. All they have the rigt to do is inform their friend. Their friend has to make the choice.

        You know how many woman get the brothers cousins , uncles etc.. To fight their bf if he hits her and she still ends up going back to him.

        At this point the relationship is still fresh, her friends need to let her handle it. You can't make anyone leave an abusive relationship all you can do is be supportive and open your arms to ten when their ready to leave.

  5. Celina

    09/18/2012 at 7:52 AM

    I probably would've taken the risk and told her anyways. The truth is offensive and it's a fact that we just have to deal with and prepare for the push-back. I don't think threatening him was the best approach because if she ever found out it would have the same effect. There were newspaper articles for God's sake! And I mean, homegirl can rail up if she wants to but I guarantee you she'll be ringing down your phone looking for support if he ever beat her a-scribble-scribble.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/18/2012 at 12:21 PM

      How would you have told her?

      • Celina

        09/18/2012 at 1:09 PM

        I probably would have just stated the facts. That I had an old classmate that used to date him, that he put his hands on her and that he ended up in the papers. If I had access to the article I'd show her that too. Then I'd tell her that I'm concerned for her safety and she needs to be careful. What she did from there would be on her.

        • NurseJilly

          09/18/2012 at 1:38 PM

          Exactly what she should have done!

  6. Jas

    09/18/2012 at 8:52 AM

    TELL HER! The probability of you losing a friend is very high but you cant, not look out for people you love in fear of them getting upset with you. Calling him wasnt a good idea because u cant scare an abusive man out of beating up one woman but that's already done. All you can do is warn your friend because although it may seem like a good idea to be more focused on keepin her in your life now if something terrible happens you will feel horrible for not even attempting to save her life.

  7. mills

    09/18/2012 at 11:01 AM

    a good friend of mine was in an abusive relationship when we were in high school, he was about four years older than us as well. Anyways when she told a group of us the first time he got physical, she made it seem like it was a joke and we didn't take her serious plus we were 14 at the time. Fast forward two years later, and I was actually in the middle of their argument. It got to the point where I pulled my girl away from him and she turned around and screamed at me for ruining everything. This all happened in the parking lot of the local mall so security came as well and banned him from the property she went with him (out of fear). I had to go to work, but I didn't leave angry with my girl because I know she said those things to me out of fear. She called me later and apologized to me for how she yelled at me.

    To this day I wish I had the right mind to tell her to leave the first time she told me what he did. I saw my dad abuse my mom as a young child, and she left right away with all of us. But you know what, I've learned that no matter what I will always tell my girl what the problem is no matter what I risk.

  8. Smilez_920

    09/18/2012 at 12:18 PM

    As a friend you must remember how delicate a abusive relationship is . Now as far as we know he hasn’t abused her. But if he was planning to start abusing her you could be putting her in a dangerous situation by calling him and threatining him.

    As a friend the most you can do is let your friend know that your door is always open if she needs someone to talk to or a place to escape. A woman will only leave an abusive relationship when she is ready. Most women don’t leave because the abuser has isolated her from family and friends.

    But like most of us have said, he could have changed. So until you are sure of what’s going on the best thing you can do is stay out of it. And just be supportive of your friend.

    • mena

      09/18/2012 at 12:52 PM

      Stay out of my head. Please and thanks. :-)

  9. NurseJilly

    09/18/2012 at 1:50 PM

    I completely understand the initial urge to call him up and threaten him but it was the wrong thing to do. As someone who has seen and gone through abuse growing up I feel like I'm super overprotective of not only myself but of other women as well. I can remember people approaching my stepfather out of concern and him being so angry and honestly a lot of times it made his outbursts worse.

    I know what you did was out of concern but trust me your friends loyalty is going to be to him until she see's the red flags (which she may never). If he is a bad guy the he's gonna talk her into cutting you out of her life, thats what abusers do. So before he gets the chance to tell her what you did you should sit her down and explain what you did and why you did it.

  10. Lia

    09/18/2012 at 4:52 PM

    I would and have risked a friendship if it meant that someone I cared about would be safe. I am VERY VERY VERY protective over my loved ones, but I also know that you cannot make a grown person do something that she doesn't want to do. I'm actually in a similar position right now, and I can tell you that after he hit her she went back to him. I just wanna shake the mess out of her until the sense comes back, but it would do no good. The warning signs were there from day one, dude is straight up disrespectful as hell. But four years later she's still complaining about how he treats her. When you are friends with someone, you know when they're putting up a front about being happy. I told her that I could sense that she wasn't really happy with him and the conversation went from there. But she stayed…

    Some people are so desperate to feel loved that they'll try to get it from all of the wrong places. I'd say that it's just best to intervene when necessary, but only do it once. Tell your friend that she deserves more than what she's allowing herself to have and pray that she believes it. Your job is done at that point. Your duty as a friend is not to baby anyone.

  11. @Amypma

    09/18/2012 at 6:40 PM

    Absolutely I would tell her. I would lose her friendship just to get it in her head even if she didn't listen to me. Forewarned is forearmed.

  12. petersburgh

    09/18/2012 at 7:33 PM

    I'm blunt so I will tell her. I won't say he will do it to her because I can't predict the future but I will warn her about it. If I lose the friendship, well so be it. I'd rather lose a friend that I can see than one in death.

    People can change but only if they want to AND if they get the help required in this particular situation.

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