She’s stuck in abusive relationship.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been in an abusive relationship for about 3 years now. My daughter is 6, when the abuse started she was 3. At first I thought this was something temporary and it will go away. I know for sure NOW this is not something that actually will NEVER go away. I am very concern about how it is affecting daughter mentally and emotionally. This was not her issue it was my issue, and she got dragged into the abuse. Please don’t say I have to get out because I know I have to get out of here ASAP; I just can’t right now. My problem is I am waiting on my green card interview and I can not move out at all until I see INS. we have to prove/look like we are happy and live together. Please advise me what can I do? Do you have adivse for women who are stuck in abusive relationship because of legal issues? How can I protect or stop it from reaching to my daughter. I have to stay to pass the interview, but how????
Thanks

A: You are right to be concerned. For over half her life, your little daughter has been witnessing abuse. From her point of view, this is what a normal relationship between a man and a woman looks like. She is probably afraid much of the time, both for herself and for you. It’s going to take a lot of work within a safe place to undo her mistaken ideas of what love is about and to settle her fears.

I understand that you are staying in order to make a better life for her over the long term but in the meantime the abuse continues and both of you sustain more emotional damage. There has to be a better way.

You need more help than I can give you in an advice column. I don’t know the laws in your state or what resources are available. Fortunately, there is an easy way to get that information. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They also have a website: www.ndvh.org. Do not use your computer to look at the website if you think your boyfriend might search the computer’s history. Use the computer at your local library instead.

Please don’t wait to give them a call. You and your little girl deserve much, much better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Oct 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). She’s stuck in abusive relationship.. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/13/shes-stuck-in-abusive-relationship/