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Violence

Ever since I was young, my dad has bashed me and I am now 13 and he still bashes me. Just yesterday I was looking in the cupboard for something to eat and he told me to move. I replied with no and he threw me across the room. I told him to piss off and he started bashing me, in front of my best friend. And that's another thing, he will bash me in public. I remember once we were going out for dinner and we got into a fight. We got inside the restaurant and he punched me and everyone was just staring at us. We immediately left the restaurant. I would call the police but he tells me that if I do, they will take me away and put me in another family, and I don't want to leave my family, I just want my dad gone. Please help me!

 

You are right to speak out against your father's violence. And I think his response is in some ways just an attempt to silence you — and I don't think that you would be removed from the house — maybe temporarily to ensure that you were safe, but they would remove him. However, I assume that your mother is in the picture or there are others in your household? I think the larger obstacle might be whether or not they can/will substantiate your experience. You are very brave to speak out against your father and to tell him not to treat you that way. Many others are scared to challenge authority and specifically a parent or spouse. I just want to make sure that you are not ostracized.

If there are others in your household, I would try discussing a strategy with them or simply say that you are going to notify the police and see how they react. I do think it's most important that you protect yourself. And should that work against you, are there other family members nearby? That's the most likely place they will put you (if they were to remove you at all). But a judge's priority is going to be to keep the family intact and your lifestyle as stable as can be. Please let me know if you want me to direct you to local resources and how I can help further. You also might consider getting a lawyer, which you will be able to do for free — as a minor either through the county/state or through Legal Aid. If you go that route, you will want to make sure that you have documentation — times he hit, etc. Please take care of yourself.

Amy