Q:

I want my cousin to get help

Hi there, my close cousin (who I consider my brother) has been hurting his partner who is also my best friend as well. Their relationship has been in turmoil for a while, and now my cousin has decided when he gets angry, he hurts my friend. 

They have a son who is 3, before he was born they argued a lot and we figured that would change when baby came into the world, but they still argue and my cousin's anger has escalated. My friend has told me he's hit her and pushed her when they argue.

But has begged me not to do anything.

I want to go to my cousin to yell, scream, punch him, but I know him, he's never done that to anyone other than my friend – no one knows he gets like that with her, I just feel when he gets angry with family he takes it out on her. 

I've tried talking to him but I can't, he doesn't open up. I know he's ashamed but I hate how he's fine to my face but I know he's treating my friend like crap. Often he says he wants out of the relationship but I know that's a lie, because he always goes back to her regardless. He is fragile, he has too much pride – I know if I confronted him he would get mad/hurt/cry – and don't want him to hurt himself. 

But I'm turning a blind eye too much, and my friend still protects him (even though she knows it's wrong). 
Last week he took it too far, my friend told me they argued, he literally pushed her to the ground, spat in her face, locked her outside his house, he took my nephew in the house with him and got him to make fun of his mother who is crying and screaming outside. 
So not only did he hurt my friend he endangered my nephew.

I'm trying not to get involved but my friend is hurting, depressed, she's stubborn as well but I can't see her in her pain anymore...

I need your help on what should I do to get them some help without anyone knowing and where they can still be together, because she has admitted she still loves him. 

And I want my cousin to get serious help but want to encourage him to do so but don't know how to...

 


A:

Hi thank you for writing in.

I really can appreciate the pressure that you are under and that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Not only are you having to consider your cousin/brother, you have your friend, their child and most of all having to make a decision on where you place yourself in this whole situation.

Not to mention other family members and friends who have no idea on what is going on.

Be brave!

I know you have taken these things into consideration.

My advice is, if you have a strong relationship with your cousin/brother, go talk to him. Go with all the information that you can get off our website. Let him know that you care for him and what you know what is happening.

Let him know that what he is doing is not ok but it is ok to ask for and get help.

Let him know that you don't want him to hurt his family anymore or himself and anyone else.

Let him know that you have seen an ad on TV about family violence that featured me and you wanted to get yourself some help so that you could help him and that you have emailed me through the website and that I am here waiting to help him.

Go and talk to him and see if you can get him to man up to the fact that family violence is not OK and it's OK to ask for and get help.

Going from being a violent to a safe man is life changing.

Normally with us men we don't want to perpetrate violence and abuse but because we have never been taught, shown or learnt any other way to deal with issues we do not have the skills to communicate effectively what it is that we are feeling and want to say.

Therefore we go back to what it is that we know and that is violence.

There is no one else that can do this, it is up to you. Take someone with you if you need the moral and physical support when you go to talk to your cousin/brother.

If he gets to the stage where he is wanting to get help, he can make contact with me via our website. Let him know about our website and the 0800 number where he can ring himself and find a local stopping violence programme that he can investigate how he can join a group and get the help for himself.

Always better if he can do this for himself.

NOW this may be a similar issue with your friend and she may not have the skills to communicate her feelings and what it is that she wants to say.

Help is out there for them to get the help they need. AND they need it for each other and for their BABY especially for the BABY; he needs to grow up free from all forms of violence. UNFORTUNATELY his father is teaching and tutoring the BABY to be a family violent baby and to me this is the worst form of violence and abuse that a father can do to his child - the worst form of child abuse.

Now you need to have a Plan B in place, for your friend and the baby: Ring 0800 456 450 get the contact details for the Women's Refuge and let them know what you know. You are intrinsically involved. Because you know what is going on you have to do this.

There has to be a plan in place to ensure that your friend and the baby no longer go through this and are in a safe place till your cousin/brother gets help and insures that the home is a safe place for them all.

Through brave people like yourself, true CHAMPIONS that make that stand against family violence, this will ultimately make the difference to keeping our families, friends, homes and communities a safe place.

Please get back to me as soon as you can.

Vic

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