How can I control abuse by my father?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. My father is an abuser he hits my mother and hits us and never contributed to this family besides the finances. Well I saw my father hitting my mother through my growing up and this feeling of hatred grew up too. Recently he had a fight with my mother and I went berserk on my father (I can’t believe they are like forty something and they do this in front of their 4 kids (me being the oldest 18 years old and the youngest being 6)) right now I’m out of home. I want to leave but he is holding my passport I don’t know what is this situation! but I know for sure I can’t just apologize even if he accepts and everything his way of abusing will never change and I might hold for a month or 2 but at last I will explode. Please any advice??

A. I am sorry to hear that you are living in such a challenging situation. The last move you want to make is to replicate your father’s violent behavior. If you have to defend yourself because your father comes after you that is one thing but it is not a good idea to go into the situation thinking that more violence will help the problem. You have witnessed first hand how this type or behavior only serves to worsen the situation.

If it is possible, try to stay with other family members or friends for the time being. Alert them to the situation that is going on at home. You can also go to the police and file charges against your father. Consider reporting your father to a child welfare agency since it is possible that he may hurt the other children in the home. What about school guidance counselors? Have you tried reporting your situation to them? I wish that I could be more assistance to you in this matter but please consider one of these options that I mentioned above. Please write again if you have any more questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). How can I control abuse by my father?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/08/20/how-can-i-control-abuse-by-my-father/