I suspect my sister's husband is abusing her
MY SISTER has been married for two years. I have always thought that she and her husband were the perfect couple. They have a beautiful little boy.
She has become much quieter and withdrawn and is not visiting us as much as she used to .
She says everything is fine and that she gets tired from looking after the baby. This does not make sense because she has help and is still on maternity leave. She also knows that she can call me anytime if she needs help. I went to her home one morning a few days ago and she looked terrible. She was in her pyjamas and I noticed bruises on her arms and it looked like there were marks on her neck. When I asked her about these, she said she had slipped and fallen.
I think her husband is beating her. I have not told anyone what I suspect and I don't know how to help her.
What should I do? Sad Sister, Leondale
Dear Dudu's response:
This is such a difficult situation to be in and your sister is very fortunate to have such a caring sister.
However, you cannot interfere. The only thing that you can do is talk to her. Tell her that you are concerned about her and assure her that she has your confidence and support. Tell her that you saw the bruises and that you have noticed a change in her.
She might be relieved to know that you are aware and that you don't blame her or she might deny the beatings and react defensively to your offer of help. She could also get very angry and tell you to mind your own business.
She is probably exhausted from caring for the baby and if her husband is abusing her, it could add to her feeling indecisive and confused. Tell her that when she is ready, help is available.