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disneyforever
11-14-2008, 02:43 AM
So for the last few weeks I have had some major family issues. Here is the short version of the story.

I have a younger cousin (age 24) named Veronica. She married an older guy Edward(whom I cannot stand for various reasons - but have always tried to be nice to keep peace.) and currently has a 8 month old son. DH and I are very close to Veronica, we talk at least weekly if not more. She currently lives in Virginia, across the USA from me.

Over the last 2-3 months I have "felt" that there is something going on or wrong with Veronica. I have asked her a few times if everything is ok. She always says yes. (Just the "I'm tired" or "Baby kept me up" or "working too many hours" ect..) Well last week I got a call from a girl (Sarah) who says she is a friend of Veronica's from work. Sarah tells me she got my number off of Veronica's phone and knew she should call me. According to Sarah, Veronica's husband has started hitting her. She has come to work with bruises a few times, and last week a black eye and cut lip. Veronica claims it's just her falling down or being clumsy but Sarah says "No way these bruises are from falling." And I have NEVER know Veronica to be clumsy, ever.

Then over the weekend I got a call from another cousin, Caitlin who wanted to know if Veronica was ok - and if I had talked to her recently. I asked why, and Caitlin said that she and her hubby had stopped by to visit Veronica and Edward and they saw Edward slap her across the face for no apparent reason.

So girls - what do I do? I have no first hand knowledge of this. Veronica has not told me anything. This is only told to me second hand (although one person is family). Do I confront her? I don't want to scare her off. I am the oldest cousin in the family, so I have always tried to keep trust and lines of communication open so that my younger cousins could come to me for anything. I am really worried about her. I just wish I lived closer to her. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it. My brother Michael is about ready to hop a plane and kick some... well you know...


Any thoughts?

jakeandsophiesmom
11-14-2008, 09:35 AM
I don't have any advice, but I can give you my hugs and prayers! :hugs::hugs:

LuvMyBoys
11-14-2008, 09:55 AM
First :hugs: to you, it's so hard to know that someone you love is being
hurt and to feel helpless to do something about it :(

My DH always responds the same way when things like this happen, he is always ready to jump in the car/plane whatever to go kick someone's a**

Not the best response, but sometimes it is tempting.

Do you have the ability to open your home to her and help her to stay with you for awhile? Could you make that option available to her? She might be feeling like she has no option but to stay there.

She is also feeling very humiliated and it's going to be hard for her to admit that this is going on and that she needs help. Be patient with her but firm, she needs to know that you are looking out for her best interest and the interest of that little child, not trying to make trouble for her or "run her life".

Please say something though, please do not let it go unaddressed. I have been the one to call the cops when my neice called me crying that her mom's boyfriend was beating her up again, and I didn't regret it - even though my sister hated me for it. She got over it and eventually she realized the crap wouldn't stop and got him out of her life.......but it took years and quite a few trips to the ER, not to mention all the trauma it put her kids through. :( I just thank God she didn't end up dead.

Good luck, lots of prayers and hugs for you and for your cousin :hugs:

iluvamystery89
11-14-2008, 10:55 AM
i hate to be a downer, just offering my personal experience, but unless she's ready to leave him, all the talking in the world isn't going to do much. my mom dated a loser who beat her and abused her emotionally for 11 years and none of us made a secret about how much we despised him, but always let her know in no uncertain terms we were there for her and she could leave him anytime and we'd support her. as i said, it took 11 years for her to finally see the light and let him go and it wasn't anything we said that changed her mind, she just finally got fed up. you could let her know you're aware of the situation and that you'll be there for her in any way possible and support any decision she makes, but it's really up to her. i pray she makes the right one for the sake of her baby. if he'll hit her, God only knows what he'll do to that precious little one. she & her baby will be in my prayers. as i said, this is just my personal experience, i apologize if it offends anyone. :hugs: to you for caring so much, you're a great cousin.

jenvance
11-14-2008, 11:41 AM
I don't really have any good advice for you, but I agree with PP that unless she is ready to admit it and ready to leave him no talking will do any good. I would let her know that you are there for her and support her. And maybe even bring it up if you feel like it is something that you can mention and still keep the communication lines open between you guys, especially for the baby's sake. If you need to talk I am here. Lots of hugs and prayers are being sent your way.

disneynut
11-14-2008, 01:14 PM
Sorry to hear that this is happening to your cousin. I have been in her shoes myself, so I can speak from my experience. As some have said, she will not leave until she is ready. You can talk until your blue in the face, but if she is not ready it will do no good. I think the best thing for you to do is just ask her about it. She may be uncomfortable about it and yes she may even lie about it. Who wants to admit that your life is not the perfect fairy tale you always thought it would be? It is hard to swallow that.
Reassure her that you will always be there for her. Don't judge or be harsh, I don't think you would, just saying she already knows it is not a good situation. :sunshine:
And yes if it is an option, open up your home to her if she needs it. The hardest part for me was, I had no where else to go. How could I raise this kid on my own. I didn't have the money to feed, clothe and house myself and a kid. Looking back, now I can say that was crazy, but it is not easy to leave especially when you have no where to turn. I stayed for years. I dont know about this man of your cousins, but mine was a drinker, then started drugs. The abuse never stops, even after they promise countless times that it will. It just gets worse. Usually it takes some breaking point for the victim to realize OK I have to get out of here. Some take longer than others. Mine was the night I had a gun to my head, a knife to my throat, then chocked till I blacked out and hit the floor while my 4 yr old DD watched. :(

Not trying to look for sympathy or give too much info, just to let you know how it turns from a push, to a hit and progressively gets worse in time. Sorry for being so long winded. This is a matter near and close to me and if my personal experience can help anyone, I am glad to share my story.

Please just ask her or tell her you know and offer her any help she needs to get out.

Blessing and Miracle
11-14-2008, 02:09 PM
:hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs: I think you have received some great advice. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers!

schaery
11-14-2008, 02:26 PM
Agreed that you have gotten some good advice. I'm sure it's hard to know how to handle the situation, though. Although I don't have any advice from experience to offer you, I do think that maybe you should mention to her that you're concerned about her, and that if there's anything she'd like to talk about or help she needs, that you're there for her. It would be good if she and the baby could arrange to come for a visit but I imagine that her husband would be suspicious and jealous, and would stop her from coming. If she could get away from him, she'd probably open it to you about what's going on. It is good, though, that she has friends who care enough about her to contact you about the situation.

lanny76
11-14-2008, 02:48 PM
Yes, you have gotten some good words already, so not much I can really add that is different. Something like that is a delicate situation and needs to be handled carefully, and yes, it has to be up to her to make the final break with the guy. I too wish she could come to spend time with you, if that could be worked out. But yes, as others have said, offer her help, your love, your support. This sort of thing cannot go on and on.
And :hugs: to you too and prayers.

Sunni
11-14-2008, 03:04 PM
Sending lots of :hugs:and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

disneyforever
11-16-2008, 03:12 AM
So here is an update.

After thinking it over for a few days, I decided to call our local abuse hotline. I talked with a couple of nice people who both told me what I already knew. Basically there is nothing I can do (except be there when she calls) until she is ready to leave him, or tell me about it. Both people also advised me to be cautious about telling Veronica that I know. They said she might feel embarrassed or guilty - then not call me when she really needs to. So for now I just sit and worry with knots in my stomach. I have started to call and email her a little more often. I am also keeping in contact with her friend from work to get updates.

Thanks everyone for the hugs and prayers. It's going to be a long wait. :(

Blessing and Miracle
11-16-2008, 03:35 PM
So here is an update.

After thinking it over for a few days, I decided to call our local abuse hotline. I talked with a couple of nice people who both told me what I already knew. Basically there is nothing I can do (except be there when she calls) until she is ready to leave him, or tell me about it. Both people also advised me to be cautious about telling Veronica that I know. They said she might feel embarrassed or guilty - then not call me when she really needs to. So for now I just sit and worry with knots in my stomach. I have started to call and email her a little more often. I am also keeping in contact with her friend from work to get updates.

Thanks everyone for the hugs and prayers. It's going to be a long wait. :(


:hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs:

lanny76
11-16-2008, 03:57 PM
So here is an update.

After thinking it over for a few days, I decided to call our local abuse hotline. I talked with a couple of nice people who both told me what I already knew. Basically there is nothing I can do (except be there when she calls) until she is ready to leave him, or tell me about it. Both people also advised me to be cautious about telling Veronica that I know. They said she might feel embarrassed or guilty - then not call me when she really needs to. So for now I just sit and worry with knots in my stomach. I have started to call and email her a little more often. I am also keeping in contact with her friend from work to get updates.

Thanks everyone for the hugs and prayers. It's going to be a long wait. :(
:hugs::hugs: That does sound really reasonable - it would be hard for her to deal with you telling her you know when maybe she hasn't accepted the reality of her situation and her need for help yet. But how hard for you to have to wait!! I hope she will open up soon, and get help.

mia214jia
11-17-2008, 09:25 AM
:hugs: And ask your friend to keep notes on her when she comes in and has visible signs. And also try to keep track of when she calls you and how she sounds. And record when you talk to her friend. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! please. Including the day and time you called the hotline.
I just cant stress enough how important it is to document everything. ~ It could just be the one thing you can do for her that could put him in his place! ( when it comes time).