Dealing With A Physically Abusive Parent

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2003

Dear Annette,

I need help and I'm not sure where to turn and a friend of mine suggested I write to you. I don't have much else to lose so here it goes.

My dad has hit me since I was a little kid, I'm 19 and he still hits me. He also has 3 other kids in his house now all under the age of 18 and he hits them as well. I donít live with my dad, but I try to help out anyway I can.

The thing is I've called DFYS, and all they do is call my mom. They never come, help, or anything.  No one will help.

The thing is I can't do it anymore. I've been doing it my whole life, but I feel obligated to help the kids. I can't keep picking them up off the floor and telling them that everything will be okay, when I know that it won't. I donít know where else to turn, please if you have any advise it would help greatly.




Dear Abused,

Since your mother is covering up the abuse when the Child Protective Services are called then it is time to get the police involved.  They have to come out to investigate physical assault charges.  You are now considered an adult and can charge him with assault.  The children, however, come under the Child Protective Services and should be protected under them. 

You are going to need proof of abuse, which is what you have not had in the past.  You can notarize statements from family, friends, or neighbors that have seen your bruises or the childrenís or have actually seen the abuse happening.

If he is very abusive to the point that you or the children have had to go see the doctor or emergency room to be fixed up, then you have more evidence.  Get those records!  If you can't get them, tell the police about them.  They can get them!

If you or the children have fresh bruises, show these to the police.  Donít call the police unless he has just assaulted someone.  Instead go to the police station with the evidence or witnesses and get him arrested. 

Since no one else will stop him it is up to you to make this stop.  You must protect the children and yourself.  Go to the police, but get the evidence you need first!

The police will get DFYS involved if you gather your evidence correctly, and the children will be protected.

You do not have to go alone.  If you belong to a church, your pastor could go with you and support you.  It is always good to have another clear thinking adult with you.  Other family members are usually another good source of support.

I hope this opens an avenue for you to get this reported and the abuse stopped.  Whatever happens, donít stop telling people what is happening. 


Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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