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It can be hard to know what to do when you think a sibling is in trouble and needs help. Kate, 15 talks about how she noticed her sister was in an abusive relationship and how she helped.
We grew up in a big town, and most weekends we’d go with our friends to the local shopping centre where there was a cinema and bowling alley, we’d hang out there and get food and stuff.
About a year ago, my sister met a guy she liked. He’s a friend of a friend, and he goes to the college that my sister was planning to go to next year. He started coming out with us at the weekends and bringing some of his friends too. When I first met him I thought he was really nice and I could see how much he liked my sister because he was always holding her hand and he always wanted to talk to her when we were out.
Looking back I think he just didn’t want her talking to anyone else, especially his friends”
After a few months they stopped coming out with us and they would just go off on their own. I get that they wanted to hang out together, and at first I just thought I was being jealous but soon she started to only hang out with him and no one else. Whenever I asked her to hang out she said she couldn’t, even if she wasn’t doing anything.
She would never leave her phone out of sight because he was always calling her or texting her. She was really secretive when she was talking to him but sometimes I would hear her apologising over and over again and when I asked what she was apologising for she said it was her fault for not replying to his messages quicker. I heard her having to convince him that there was nothing going on between her and one of our old family friends, and once I heard her giving him her passwords.
She stopped laughing and she became really moody around me and my mum, and wouldn’t tell us what was wrong. She started going out without saying where she was going and she came home really late. My mum invited him over for dinner a few times but he would never come and she would go out instead. I spoke to our friends about it and everyone was worried about her but we didn’t know what to do.
There were no signs that he was hurting her so how could we prove that he was being abusive?
I started looking online at the signs of abusive relationships and I spoke to my mum. We were worried about speaking to her in case we pushed her away but we knew we had to. We told her that we loved her and that we were there for her, and we missed her. My mum gave her some numbers and said that she didn’t have to speak to us if she didn’t want to, but if she wanted to speak to someone confidentially then there are organisations out there. My sister started crying and didn’t speak much, but I think she was relieved that we had confronted her. I think she wanted to talk about it for a long time but was too scared. I wish we had said something sooner but we were too scared we would push her away.
Me and my mum kept making so much effort to tell my sister how much we loved her, and I talked to our friends, who had stopped trying to make an effort, and they started asking her to hang out again. It was a bit frustrating at first because I wanted her to just dump him and forget about him but she said even though she wasn’t happy, she did love him. I think she was scared he would tell people things about her and show people some pictures she’d sent him too.
About two months ago my sister came to me and said she’d had enough. He’d been sending her messages calling her all sorts of awful things because she said she wanted to hang out with her friends. She showed me and mum the messages, which she has never done before. Mum said we would go to the police if he contacted her again, and she told him that in her reply.
I think this really shocked him as he didn’t think she would dare tell anyone, and suddenly he must have got scared because she didn’t hear from him for ages. When he did contact her again he was so apologetic and said it was only because he loved her and he was so desperate to see her. I could tell this was hard for her and she missed him but we had to encourage her to stay strong and remind her of everything he had done.
As far as I know they don’t have any contact now but I am worried that he could still try and find his way back into her life. It’s definitely affected how my sister approaches new relationships and her trust. She’s also decided not to go to the same college as him, which doesn’t seem fair but she just can’t face seeing him. I think me and my sister are closer than ever now. We’ve promised to always tell each other everything about our relationships and I really hope we keep that promise.
Talk to them
If I was to give someone advice I would say don’t put off talking to your sister / brother or friend. I think my sister was ready to talk but she was too scared to make the first move. I hate thinking I could have helped sooner and didn’t. I’m just glad I have her back.
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