How can you help your 26-year-old verbally and emotionally abused daughter?
It may take awhile for her to realize what is happening and then another while for her to gather her nerve/energy to leave. The best you can do is to hear her out and offer her a non-judgmental place to talk about it. As stated below, you can also take her to an intake office, but it is best to do it under cover of some activity, so her husband has no idea where she is going. If you have a distinctive car, make sure to park out of sight of the roadway. I have been through this myself, and the counselors were very well equipped to help me move from my situation. Actually, they were better than friends since they weren't involved and had the boundaries to not become involved. If you can afford it, a week or so of vacation away from the abuser may also make the issue clearer to her--like a cruise or somewhere he cannot follow. In no case should she give him any idea that she plans to leave, or pack when he is home. The month surrounding a departure can be very dangerous for the victim. If possible, it would be better for her to go somewhere that he cannot find her or contact her until she gets her bearings. It is very rare that the abuser will permanently change his ways without the benefit of time and space. Unless she can see that the man she is with does not know the meaning of love there isn't much you can do. You can suggest you will back her 100% and make an appointment at the "Abused Women's Center" in your area. If you find it hard to find then just phone mental health. They will direct you. The Abused Women's Center will take your daughter into the counselor and go over her history. They are use to seeing tears, frustrations, fears and even the abuser threatening her or taking children away. This is what abuser do ... brain-wash their victim, take their independence and self esteem away and put the fear of God into them that the victim can't make it out on her own and no man would ever want her, plus, take the children away from her or even threaten to kill her or her family. There are counselors in the Abused Women's Centers that will go with her to court. You daughter will be put into a "Transition House" or "Safe House" where no one will know where she is with perhaps the exception of you and her counselor. There she will have to take programs which will give her the tools to get her self esteem back, learn not to choose the same abusive partners and most importantly not to go back to her abuser (which is common.) They will help her find work as well and get her on her feet. If she agrees with you then have her pack her bags (just the very essentials) and leave to come home when her abuser has gone to work. It's obvious he will either phone her with threats or possibly come to your home and if this happens call the police immediately and press charges! Don't be surprised if your daughter says, "But I love him" because she will honestly believe this and also will believe he doesn't mean what he does (make excuses for his actions) or she can change him. If this is the case your daughter is an adult and there isn't much you can do about it. If your daughter and her abuser have children then you can report it to Children's Aid so at least the children are out of the abusive environment. Don't feel sorry for your daughter because if she chooses to stay there is no reason the children should have to live in such an environment. If the children are taken away from her and her abuser then she is more apt to try and help herself. I wish you luck! God Bless If she is still in the relationship, get her to realize that she is worth much more than the abuser treats her. Bring her to sit ins for abused women and let her hear their stories and possibly gain strength to move on with her life in a more healthy way. The abuser will prey on her until she shows that she has the strength to get away from him. Listen to her, too, if she wants to talk, see how she feels, get her some self esteem books and bring her around positive people. Ive heard of alot of success if people like you go to the abuser with many others and denounce him and his ways, with her present and let him know that he will no longer be tolerated and is no longer welcome in "her" circle of strength. They are sad individuals, not to be pitied though because they are chosing to treat another person so indifferently for their own benefit. We all need to ban together against abusers of any type and let them know this is not their world its everyones to share and if they dont know how, then they need to go.