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Author Topic: Worried about my best friend
Ste-Funnie
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Hi. I go to this GLBT club. I have a friend their whom we have a lot in common. He is going thru crap. He was physically abused by his ex boyfriend. His ex is always at the club when he is. Last time I went, he got sick from being around his abusive ex. My friend's other friends don't believe him that he was abused. Or ones that do don't take his side. The issue is, him and his ex sometimes have problems when their both their.

Here's the issue. Two issues to be exact.

His ex bf still thinks of me as a friend. I thought of him that way b4 I realized he was evil. Last time I went to the club, the ex came up to me and said hi then gave me a hug. When he hugged me I kinda hugged him back lightly and was tensed and uncomfortable. When we were like sorta talking friendly, you know, I was uncomfortable doing that knowing he hurt my friend. I try to avoid him sometimes. The fact that I'm acting "weird" around the ex, (like avoiding him) I'm worried he's gonna notice, and then ask me "what's going on? why are u avoiding me?" And then if I tell him that I'm mad at him for what he did, he might do something bad to my friend for telling me that.

Here's the other problem. The fact that my friend gets sick to his stomach around his ex, and that they have problems there, I'm worried that it's gonna get worse, and then something will happen that my friend will be too scared and upset to go to the club. I'm worried his ex will cause him to never wanna go there again. Not just b/c I wanna hang out with him, but b/c I don't want him to be terrorized, and I want him to feel safe, b/c I really care about him.

My friend will call me on the phone and talk about how scared he is of his ex, and that really worries me. I wanna help him.

--------------------
~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

Posts: 251 | From: Long Island | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BrightStar171
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Well, it sounds like one of the best things you can do for your friend right now is to be a supportive, understanding listener, so it sounds like you're right on track as far as that's concerned. Do you have any opportunities to hang out with your friend outside the club?

Has your friend spoken to the police at all about the possibility of obtaining a restraining order/protective order against his ex? (They're called different things in different jurisdictions, but they all mostly have the same effects.)

If your friend's ex asks you why you're avoiding him, all you have to say is that you're not interested in being friends with him anymore. You don't owe it to him (or to anyone) to explain why- you don't have to bring your friend into it at all.

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Ste-Funnie
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I have no idea if he has gone to the police about it. I could ask him and if he hasn't, I cld advise him to. He might not do it b/c in the past, before I knew him, he was raped by one of his exes. He brought him to the police and they told his mom and his mom didn't believe him. And he didn't have an order of protection from that guy. More important than his ex asking me why I'm avoiding him, I'm more worried about things getting worse and that he's not gonna feel safe. And say if he did try running this guy in and it didn't work, then ho else can I help him?

--------------------
~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

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BrightStar171
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I'm not totally sure what you're saying happened when your friend reported his sexual assault to the police- they would have had to tell his mother, probably, if he were a minor, but whether his mother believed him or not shouldn't have affected whether or not the police prosecuted the case. If they didn't, I can understand how he might mistrust the justice system. (And, while he should certainly go to the police now if he's feeling threatened, there may or may not be anything they can do if the ex isn't threatening him outright.) But it's certainly something to recommend he try.

I'm kind of assuming your friend is a minor- if he is, are there any resources he could access through his school, like a school counselor?

As for how you can help him, it in part might depend on why exactly he doesn't feel safe. He seems to keep going to places where his ex is likely to be- is there a reason he's doing this? (As in, if he's afraid his ex is going to hurt him, he should put his safety first.) Is he afraid his ex is going to attack him only when they meet up at the club, or has the ex been stalking or otherwise following your friend such that he feels threatened anywhere other than the club? You said in your first post that your friend and his ex sometimes "have problems" when they're both at the club- what kinds of problems are you talking about? That might help me give you a much better answer.

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Ste-Funnie
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First of all, he is a minor. He's 16 and so is his ex.

When he was dating his ex, he obviously ddnt abuse him at the club (which is why no one believed him). He doesn't go to the club to see his ex. He goes to the club to hang out with his other friends. It's not about his ex. As far as I know, his ex (after break up) did send him a text message threatening to kill him. I assume it was recent and it was outside the club. At the club, well, I'm not in the room when they have problems. What he told me is that his ex said mean things to him and harassed him. Like I said in the post, he got sick and threw up. But when u ast why he goes there, well, the reason why he goes there is to hang out w/ me and his other friends. Plus, his ex doesn't always go when he goes. I just want a way to protect him from the ex when their both their. I do wanna hang out with him. I know we can hang out elsewhere but we are technically just starting sorta. I mean we have known each other but we're just starting closely. But I want him to feel safe at the club so I can hang out w him there for a start.

--------------------
~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

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BrightStar171
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Ok, thanks, all of that information helps a lot!

Here is a list of recommendations of things you can suggest, in no particular order. I do want to be clear- in a situation like this, other than offer advice and support to your friend, there is very little YOU personally can do. As in, you should not be the one who goes to the police (unless, obviously, there's an immediate emergency, like your friend is getting attacked at that very moment, in which case, call 911). You can't talk to a counselor for your friend, or talk to your friend's ex for him, or do any of things that I'm gong to recommend. That's the part that really sucks about having a friend experience an abusive relationship- you can't help them directly; all you can do is help them help themselves.

So here are some things you can recommend to your friend:

- A reading recommendation: The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. It's pretty much THE book on how to deal with stalkers, get safely away from abusers, etc. Buy a copy (or check on out from the library, or whatever) and give it to him.

- It really sounds like your friend should avoid contact with his ex. That really means all contact- no phone calls, no texts, no visits. If he runs into him at the club, it means leaving. I know that's not really the solution you were looking for, but if your friend's really worried about his safety, it may be what he has to do.

- Contact the police. If your friend actually has a text message in which his ex threatened to kill him, he'll be a LOT more likely to be able to get a protective order. (These are sometimes called restraining orders, keep-away orders, stay-away orders, or no-contact orders, and what they mean is that a court orders an abusive partner to keep away and not have any contact with the person they abused. If the abuser violates the order and visits or contacts the person anyway, they can be sent to jail.) Now, the availability of these depends a LOT on what state you're in, the seriousness of abuse, how much evidence there is, and a bazillion other factors that may or may not mean one of these is available to your friend. (It also wouldn't help at the club- typically it would only extend to your friend's home, work, and school- if he ran into his ex anywhere else, he'd still be the one who would have to leave if he didn't want to see the ex.) But it's always a good first step.

- Really, really urge your friend to talk with someone. A school counselor would be a really good first step, because they'll probably know (much better than me) what resources, either through the justice system, social services, school services, etc., are available in your area. Another thing to recommend would be the National Domestic Violence hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), which can also provide referrals to resources in your area.

One big thing you can do other than just being supportive is to try to build more of a relationship with your friend outside the club. Invite him to do other non-club things, like have dinner or see a movie.

The other big thing you can do is, if your friend isn't willing to leave the club when his ex shows up, you make sure that they're never alone together. It sounds like the ex wasn't ever violent in public...so make sure they're always in public, you know?

The thing is, there probably isn't very much you can do to make the club a safe space for your friend. Some things, like talking to a counselor or the police, can give him a little more peace of mind, so that he might feel safer everywhere. But it sounds like he shouldn't be around his ex, which might just mean he shouldn't be around the club. That's why you could do a lot of good if you extend your friendship with him to places outside the club- that way he'll have a safe space to be with friends that doesn't have the risk of his ex showing up.

Do you have any other thoughts, or any questions about what I've said? I'm happy to talk about this as much as you want.

[ 09-21-2011, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: BrightStar171 ]

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Ste-Funnie
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Well, first of all, just for u to know for the future, I live in NY. So if I ever ask u any kind of questions about laws and stuff, just keep in mind I live in NY.

Also, when I was molested by my stepdad, well, until I'm 18, he is not allowed in my presence at all. He'll go to jail if he goes anywhere that I am. So say if my friend is in an order of protection, and say he goes to the club or anywhere, is it still his responsibility to leave?

The ex doesn't abuse him in public, but he stalks him. When u say make sure their not alone, well, I think it wld be better if I made sure he wasnt in the same room as him at least.

--------------------
~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

Posts: 251 | From: Long Island | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BrightStar171
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Hmm, I don't know all that much about NY law, so maybe it is possible to get a protective order that covers everywhere. That'd be something your friend should talk to the police about; they'd know better than me.

And if the ex is stalking him, that means it's a really good idea for him to go to the police. Has your friend specifically told his ex not to contact him anymore? Sometimes it's hard for police to do as much to deal with stalking if the victim hasn't actually told the stalker to stop.

And yeah, it sounds like you should try to keep them from being in the same room if you can- but if you can't, definitely at least try to keep an eye out for your friend.

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Ste-Funnie
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I am pretty sure he has told him to stop. It's pretty likely.

The problem is, Star, my friend talks a lot and he is a big chatterbox. Sometimes it's hard to ask him a lot of questions and give him advice. He just jabbers on and on. About urging him to talk to a school counselor, well, he said that his counselor is always out. I could suggest the domestic violence hotline. The problem is, I'm not sure how to bring it up. I obviously don't wanna upset him, but also considering he talks too much. I do accept him for who he is that he talks a lot. He is dyslexic. But I dunno how I can simply bring it up.

--------------------
~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

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Heather
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How about something as simple as writing down the number, handing it to him, and saying something like, "I hate to see you scared and hurting. You don't have to be. These people can help."

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ste-Funnie
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Ok. Sounds great! There's another question I wanted to ask, but I'm not sure if I shld ask here or start a new topic?

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~Stephanie Gabriella Murray
I'm very gay for being a lesbian, and not gay to be what I'm not

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Heather
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Whatever you like.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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