Mudcat Café message #517741 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37057   Message #517741
Posted By: SharonA
30-Jul-01 - 12:38 PM
Thread Name: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
Hi, George

The various posts above have advocated various types of professionals whom Concerned Friend might consult, both statutory and non-statutory; that's why I collectively referred to them as "professionals" (please, let's not use the term "lumping", given the subject matter here!). My understanding from Concerned Friend's posts is that both the woman in question and her new husband work INDIRECTLY in the area of family abuse, since Friend says "Neither works directly with abuse issues, but, ironically, either one might be the one of first professionals that someone trying to deal with this problem would approach" and "She works closely with most of the agencies mentioned above... --To suggest that she might have this kind of problem is not something that a lot of people would want to deal with--even people who usually deal with this sort of thing--" I take from that statement that this woman usually deals with "this sort of thing" professionally.

Therefore, this woman presumably knows a lot of what "professionals in the area of family abuse" know about "abuse within professional families, and all the problems of the victim getting herself...believed." [quoting from George's post, now]. The problem, as I see it, is not informing this "pro" of her options, but is getting her to open up to family-abuse "pro's" as a victim. Simply introducing her as a consultant or other professional colleague isn't going to make her take off her professional "mask", at least not soon (especially if she finds out later that they were "tipped off", before they'd met her, that she'd been abused! What will THAT do to her self-esteem, I wonder? If 'twere me, I'd feel betrayed... but then, I prefer that my friends come to me with their concerns about my personal life and my welfare, whereas this woman obviously does not).

Also - No, I don't think anyone SUGGESTED doing nothing. It's just that Concerned Friend said (s)he first noticed this woman's bruises and cuts FOUR MONTHS ago, has noticed more since then, and is afraid of what more may happen. Friend seems frustrated by the woman's withdrawal and denial, yet rebuffs some of the suggestions given above. All I meant to say, in answer to those rebuffs, was that Friend should pick SOME course of action and ACT, since it's been four months already since the abuse became obvious! Fortunately, Friend has done so; the effectiveness of the indirect method (s)he chose remains to be seen, but at least (s)he is no longer dropping the subject and hanging back when this tearful, bruised, cut-up woman claims she's "fine"!