You are absolutely right! No one deserves this. It sounds like your friend’s mother is as afraid of her dad as she is. Your friend has been living with this so long she thinks it’s normal in a relationship. Sadly, they are not alone in feeling so stuck – and stuck with – an abusive situation. In America, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. As is the case with your friend, witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
Although I appreciate your courage in telling off her dad, such efforts to intervene can backfire. Your friend and her mother need to get out of there. Fortunately, there is a women’s shelter in your city. Go to this link to learn about the services they offer. You can contact them for good advice about how best to help your friend. Another resource is The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. You, your friend, or her mother could call them for information and for some practical help.
Please don’t get discouraged. It takes time and understanding for women to get out of an abusive relationship. Educate yourself. Try to pass information along to your friend. Talk to your guidance counselor or your parents about what can be done that won’t make things worse. Be there for her. And, by all means, keep letting her know that it’s not normal to be hurt by the people who supposedly love you. In time, she may get the message.
I wish everyone well in this sad and dangerous situation.