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My friend's brother scares her and is abusive watch

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    Please keep anon or delete, she asked me to ask this for her

    A close friend of mine grew up in a physically/emotionally abusive family. Her father was kind of sexually abusive and her brother and cousins are (they brushed off the abuse) though she is not. She is currently living with her brother while she looks for a job. She has depression but her GP was no helpful.

    She has told me that the way her brother acts makes her feel nervous, though he is not/has never been physically abusive. He works as a construction worker and apparently whenever he drops her off in his van at places he drives dangerously and then laughs about her being scared with her friends after they nearly get into accidents. He also keeps banging/slamming things around the house even though she has said she asks him and he says he is not angry. Apparently he thinks he has some kind of mental issues and she has seen him taking pills.

    The most worrying thing is something else she has told me, that he keeps "checking her out"/looking her up and down. She says he started doing it recently and if it were one time she wouldnt care but she feels awful because she'll be sitting watching TV or something and then look up to catch him staring at her chest and then he jumps when she catches him and looks away. She also told me she was sorting her clothes for the laundry one time and then he walked in and kept staring at her pile of underwear. I think that is sick.

    Please help, what advice should I give her?? Is there any support for people in those situations? I would let her live w/me as she has no other friends but the landlord here is strict and I share a big room with a flatmate

    This sounds like such a difficult situation. Your friend is really lucky to have you being so supportive. It's good that she has told you about this.

    Growing up in an abusive family can have long lasting impacts on us, so even with the issue of her brother's behaviour aside I would want her to get support for that. I am sorry to hear her GP was not supportive. She could go and ask to see a different one and request counselling. Childhood sexual abuse is a very traumatic thing to experience and it is important to get support. There is more info about that here:

    OK, in terms of the brother. I can see why she is very wary of his behaviour, the driving and banging stuff around at home sound scary and it is concerning if he has mental health issues. It's hard to comment on the pills not knowing if they are medication or something else but it all adds up to a concerning picture.

    I can see why him looking at her like that would make her really uncomfortable, especially given what she went through before.
    Is there anywhere else she can stay? Does she have a relationship with her mum? If she is under 18 then social services have a duty of care to make sure she is housed safely. If she is over 18 she could also approach her local homeless persons unit for emergency accomodation. http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...om_the_council

    She can ring the Shelter helpline for housing advice - 0808 800 4444 - it's open 8am–8pm on weekdays and 8am–5pm on weekends. It is important that she tell them what has been happening so they can best advise her.

    Emergency accomodation can be in a variety of places and as she is single she may be placed in a council run bed and breakfast or hostel. She would need to decide if that felt better / safer than where she is now. Hopefully she will be able to get work soon and be able to afford rent somewhere she chooses.

    She can also contact the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247 - they are open 24 hours a day and may be able to help.
    Also family lives have a helpline about anything to do with families including abuse - http://www.familylives.org.uk/
    0808 800 2222 for information, advice, guidance and support on any aspect of parenting and family life, including bullying. from 7am – midnight, any calls during the night are answered by Samaritans.
    They also have a live chat which could be helpful:
    Live chat – mon-fri 9am – 11pm, weekends 11am – 11pm

    It's a really difficult situation and hard to advise on but I do share your concerns. I think if she contacts these helplines and gets proper housing advice (as that is not my area of expertise) she can at least see what her options are. When she is ready I do advise getting counselling to cope with the past abuse.
    take care
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