Dealing with an abusive dad

My dad has been physically abusive before and has been in legal trouble because of it, but my mom always lets him come back. Every once in a while it'll get bad again.

It's gotten to the point I feel depressed and out of control and feel it's my fault because they were happy and now they're not...and in between these times they had me. Sometimes I get too scared to even leave my room, especially if only my dad is home. I’m scared, uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do.

Hey girl! I’m so sorry about your dad. You shouldn’t feel unsafe in your own house, and this isn't your fault AT ALL.

Try to understand

Your mom probably wants to get away from the abuse, too, but it can be hard to leave an relationship--especially since she's been with your dad for so long. She probably still loves your father and when he tells her he’s going to stop, she might believe him. Leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the hardest things a person ever does.

Realize it’s not your fault

Your father has probably always had the tendency to get violent, and things were probably not as good as you think before you were born. Please don’t take the blame for something you can’t control. His anger has nothing to do with you.

Getting out of the house

Since there's a lot of stuff going on at home, it might be a good idea to join an after-school club or activity to take your mind off things. This way, you'll boost your self-esteem and feel tons better doing it. You'll meet new friends and won't feel as depressed.
Talking about it

Write your mom a heartfelt note about how much you love her, but how scared you feel being in your own house. Be honest--better to get things off your chest than leave it all bottled up. You should also seek professional help. Please see a school counselor who can help you feel more secure. She could also also help you find family therapy and make sure that no one gets hurt, physically or emotionally.

If you need immediate help, please call:

The Abuse Victim Hotline is 100% confidential and free: 1-877-448-8678

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Please don't be too shy or embarrassed to get help. I know it takes guts, but once you're working this out the right way, you'll feel so much better. No one will judge you, and this is in no way your fault!

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by Liz | 2/1/2016
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