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Teen Daughter in Abusive Relationship

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My husband and I believe that our 16 year old daughter is in an abusive relationship with her 17 yr old boyfriend. They have been dating now for 7 months and he never, never comes here. She always has to go to his house. Her grades this year and gone from 3.8 student to 1.0. She has skipped school and got suspended, she is pulling away from the family and has lost all her friends. She says that she does not want him here and takes all the blame on herself. We have heard conversations on the phone, yes we were easedropping, and he is verbally abusive to her on the phone and talks just very pornographic to her on the phone. My husband and I question her about that and she just makes up excuse after excuse for him, like oh he was just kidding, he did not mean it. Back in June, she accused her dad of abusing her, that was proven false by the school and the police. We have found poems of abuse in her room and she says that it was just notes from school. She just keeps protecting this guy and my husband and I do not know what to do. She has been gone for 2 weeks in a sancutary where she is staying because she ran away about 3 weeks ago. We are trying to get her help, but she has not opened up to any of the counselors at the shelter. She just continues to protect this monster. That is what he is in my book. If anyone has any ideas, please let us know. All we want to do is protect our daughter.


Thank you


A very Worried Family

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Hi Chrissy,


I am very sorry to hear you are in this position - I know for any parent it is very hard to see your child in pain, or making choices that could affect her future.


It definitely sounds like your daughter is in a very troubling relationship - as you probably know verbal abuse/emotional abuse is just as destructive as physical abuse in so many respects. Her self esteem is suffering, her future is suffering. Unlike physical though, often the person in it takes longer, or never realizes, what is really going on. Especially when they have little experience with relationships. And it is not a huge step from verbal abuse, to physical. It can escalate, if it has not already. The poems would seem to suggest it is very possible it already has.


I really think professional help is needed, and in this case perhaps even an intervention with the guidance of a professional therapist who deals with cases of abuse. I would consult some abuse lines in your area, and get some help and guidance on this issue...interventions sometimes when done right shed light, open the eyes of the person...


She is 16, and still a minor so you do still have legal power over her...of course she will probably be very angry at you if you were to put her in therapy/intervention/restraining order on him...but sometimes you must do that in order to help. You are a parent, not her best friend, right?


Good luck, don't give up on her. She does need help, she is stuck in a situation right now not realizing how terrible it will get, that this is not healthy, normal...that her life is being radically altered negatively. Don't give up on her....turn to outside help from people with experience in this area. Please.



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Sorry to hear this, but I think in order to get her out, you need to make her see it.


Abuse is kind of like an addiction, and it works very much like one. the person who abuses, starts by making a perosn feel great, then brings them down, then make sthe feel great, then repeats and repeats this process with higher highs and lower lows. You become addicted to the highs and work through the lows, but there is really nothing predictable about them. Getting the highs becomes an obsession.


Alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. all need to want the help in order to get off anf get clean. Your daughter might need to see the problem, before she can get off his junk.

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WOW I see everyone's point and I am sorry your in this position Chrissy. I do kind of agree with Beec because the person who is in the position has to admit there is a problem before they will try and get help. Yes your her parents and you want only the best for her but, you also have to realize that she may resent you for the intervention. You need to make her see that this is not a normal relationship to be involved in.


I just dont want to see her run away with this monster. I mean maybe talk to his parents about whats happening to your daughter may also bring insight of his family life. Maybe he is in a house of abuse and it is the only thing he knows. If that is true then you should be able to help her see how bad it is going to get.


Who knows maybe his folks feel the same way about the relationship. Who knows but, I think forcibly making her do something will turn out in disaster.


I hope everything works out for the best.

Good luck!



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I was in an abusive relationship when I was the same age. My parents had no idea. I was really good at hiding the pain. They did not like my boyfriend, and they had reason not to although they did not know why at the time.


Now that I am older and I see all the destructiveness of the relationship. I wish that my parents had intervened. The problem is your daughter is at a hard age. Typically teens start to pull their independence around this age. So she is going to just get defensive if you try to talk to her about this. What you need is a third party. I definitely agree that she needs counseling. Your not going to get her to stop seeing this guy. Your just going to make her sneak around to do it.


If you get her some counseling perhaps she will open up and start to realize on her own how destructive this relationship is. Like most abusers they belittle, and demean the other person till they have no self worth. Your daughter needs to find herself, before she will leave this guy. Because he has it in her head that she can't live without him. She is completely co dependent on him.


Good Luck. We are not are child's friend. They have plenty of those.

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wow, I was in a relationship like that a while ago. He made me feel soo good at some times and then all of a sudden something would trigger and he would call me names and completely belittle me. Say things how I would be nothign without him, its him thats making me a better person, he did exactly what the others say abusers do.


I loved him and still do with all my heart, but my friends, especially my parents would tell me over and over again how that is NOT what someone that loves you treats you. I wouldnt listen to anyone when they told me that he is emotionally abusive because there were times when he made me feel soo happy that it would just "erase" the memories from when he belittled me.


Your daugther needs to see that, dont tell her in a demanding way how awful he is, but explain to her that if he loved her he wouldnt treat her like that.

Shes young, if she doesnt listen or doesnt want to obey or at least give it some though, get her more help from professionals before it gets worse.

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hey chrissy67, I'm not trying in anyway to agree with your daughters boyfriend. I think your daughter is brainwashed though by him. However, maybe she's lashing out at you guys for possibly being overprotective? You said you looking through all her stuff and are spying. Treat this like any relationship. When you bark alot of orders most people will lose intrest in you if that's the case. . Why not just sit her down, tell her how you guys really feel and see what happens. You are the parents here, and she is totally under your wing right now. I think when stuff like this happens, she's not being educated enough by her parents. goodluck

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  • 2 years later...

I am so sorry for your situation, but I think there is alot more going on than you know. Why would your daughter acuse her father of abusing her if he was not. If your daughter can't come to you who can she turn to but this 17 yo guy. It is very very rare for a girl to say such a thing without there being some truth to it. I'm sorry but your missing something here. If you want to believe your husband, then leave you daughter make her own life. I think it's very unhealthy behaviour listening in on your daughter private conversations. Typical behaviour of an abuser.

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