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Domestic Violence/Friend in trouble (?)


Dear Laura,

Thanks for offering to take questions.

My wife met a friend in the fall. This friend, she lives with an older man and is rather dependent on him: does odd jobs in order to live there and he lets her use one of his cars. If the car is in the shop, he offers to drive her to where she needs to go. The friend describes the man as verbally abusive, and my wife has heard him yell at the friend over the phone. This friend also told my wife that the man wants to have sex with her, but the friend claims to have never engaged in any of that.

For the past 2 days, the friend has been unreachable by cell phone. There has been no activity on the friend's facebook page. No response to email. My wife called the landline of the house and the man also has not seen the friend and claims she has one of his cars still in her possession, and he also claims she has not been at her part-time job.

My wife and I don't know what appropriate actions we should take, especially for the scenarios that are running through our minds:

1) The friend has left without any notice, and has indeed stolen the man's car. (File a missing persons report?)
2) The man is holding her against her will. (Get the police involved?)
3) The man has committed an even more serious crime against the friend. (Again, get the police involved?)

The other concern we have is how to make sure our family is safe. We have two small children and are concerned about the man acting out if he perceives us as interfering in his life, even if there is no foul play going on (he knows where we live, and in the last communication with my wife, he asked her to go over to his house to keep him company--which she made clear that the purpose of communicating was out of a concern for her friend).

Any suggestions are much appreciated--Thank you so much.)



My advice is to call the police and tell them what you told me. Give them her address and ask them to do a "welfare check." (They may have some other name for it). This is anonymous. They will never know who called, but it will give you assurance that either all is well, or that it's time the authorities got involved.

Good luck,

Laura Giles

Domestic Violence

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Laura Giles


I can answer questions related to filing charges, support groups, leaving, safety planning, getting a protective order, getting counseling, or staying.


I worked as a domestic violence advocate in the court system. I am also a counselor.

B.S. Human Services Counseling
Master of Social Work

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