Federal Way, WA asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Oregon

Q: If my 15 yr old niece is being physically abused by her 15 yr old BF what options does my sister have?

Even when they attend the same school?

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: She can report the abuse to the school; she can report the abuse to the police. Child abuse is nothing to take lightly, regardless of who the perpetrator is. IF she can stop the BF now at age 15, there is a reasonable chance that she can prevent what is otherwise likely to turn into a life-long habit of abusing women he is around. This is NOT something that he will grow out of or otherwise see the errors of his way and voluntarily change. She can also seek a restraining order keeping the BF from all contact with your niece. The school authorities should be well trained in how to appropriately respond and handle the situation as well. Your niece needs protection particularly from the emotional and psychological damage that this will do, particularly at her age and at a time when her life-long self-esteem is actively being cemented into place - don't let her suffer for the rest of her life because it was easier to turn a blind eye or because she is concerned about the potential social ramifications and embarrassment. This is a time when your niece desperately needs the wisdom and guidance of a parent and adult in her life to help her cope. Depending upon the extent of the abuse, she also might benefit from counseling.

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