When you can't do anything

I’ve listened to my friend telling of her husband’s verbal and physical abuse. I’ve seen her husband’s face get red with anger and his eyes turn black. He’s even looked at me that way because he knows what I know. He has money to hire private investigators that follow her, and I believe he’s had one follow me to see if I’m doing things for her. One time while on the phone to the DV hotline, my call got mysteriously disconnected. I believe he had my phone tapped, and deliberately disconnected that call.

She denies physical abuse to the kids, and I have not seen any signs of it. They appear well cared for. However, I saw him get mad at his daughter for not putting a cereal bowl in the right place, and he charged toward her and she quickly darted away from him. I brought that incident up to my friend and she just casually said “oh, it didn’t mean anything”.

But, I think it does mean something. I contacted a lawyer and was told if nobody in the home admits to abuse and there is no sign of it, they cannot take action. I was also told having me followed when I am in a public place is not against the law.

Without proof or the acknowledgement of those directly involved, any action I take would be pointless. I cannot force her to see what’s going on. It is on my mind constantly that there must be more I could do, but I am powerless as an outsider. How does anyone live with this?

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