Domestic Violence/lost


I am lost and have no idea what to do.  My 20yr old daughter is in a horribly abusive relationship.  She has been hospitalized twice in the past year, had to have surgery on her wrist due to injuries inflicted on herself in the mist of an argument with her abuser.  Most recently her abuser killed her dog right in front of her.  She refuses to end this relationship.  This relationship has obviously affected her mental state.  I feel as though she is a major safety risk to herself at this time.  Because she is an adult, I don't know what choices I have in trying to keep her safe.  I don't know what to do and this whole thing is causing such extreme stress on my relationship with my daughter.  Her abuser just got out of jail today and I am so afraid for my daughters safety.


You have every reason to be afraid. A person who will kill an animal is a high risk for hurting a person. Unfortunately, all you can do is call the police after the fact. Unless you have evidence that your daughter is mentally incapable of protecting herself, she has a right to do as she chooses. You can't make her choose safety.

I am 100% sure that that is not a comforting answer. So I will also suggest that you have a conversation with your local domestic violence prevention agency and see if there are any local resources or laws that might be helpful to you. Sometimes localities do things a little differently. Maybe they have some tips for how to get your daughter to do some safety planning.

Best of 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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