Dad hit mom! HELP!


I am a college student currently away from my family. Yesterday I spoke with my mom and she told me that her and my dad had an argument about finances, and my dad is an aggressive men physical abused my mom during the argument. My dad didnt hit my mom since I was very little. I am soo upset and very depressed over this. I feel very guilty that Im not there to protect my mom as we have a special relationship. I love my dad as well and I dont understand how he can do that to her. I know he can get arrested but who else will support us? What should I do? I feel like my whole world is coming to an end because I was happy that Im in school studying and now Im soo worried sick about my mom and what is happening back home. THank God that she is ok though. I have so many bad thoughts in my head. I spoke to him about it and hes denying it every happened that supposedly my mom attacked him first. Which I DO NOT BELIEVE because I know how aggresive my dad gets. He has hit us when we were little before and hes a man where everyone is scared of him in our home. I do believe that he made use of the situation that me and my brother is not there and so he did that. I HATE HIM SOO MUCH RIGHT NOW. I am catholic and I know its wrong but I feel so much hate. How can I ever forgive him??
help please


Contact your mother's parish priest and get him involved IMMEDIATELY - he is the best one to start dealing with all of this. Your mom has come to you as the adult that you are now - in a weird way - for help. This is tough on you - I can only imagine and after having gotten out of an abusive relationship - it takes a toll on everyone around it even friends. Pray for the intercession of St Joan of Arc as she is also the patron of abuse victims. Try your best to find forgiveness for your father as through him you also have life. Make sure you get your own pastoral counseling as your mother will need a rock in you. God bless you for being the daughter she raised you to be: a warm caring, thoughtful, young lady.


Notify the police. Get your mom and minor children out of there. Then, tell your mom to file for divorce and testify against your father so he can go to jail. Anyone who dares inflict physical violence to another person they “love” should be locked away for a long time. Period.

Then get your butts to counseling.


You are a lovely person, please know I will be praying for your mom and dad and your family. Thank you for coming here and sharing your story.

Please, if I may say something that is not meant to criticize but to help I hope. Your mother was wrong to share this with you. Your mother should have NOT shared this with you. Your mother should call a friend, a neighbor, a sister, a brother, the police, a counselor, someone...anyone but she should not have called her far-away child that can do nothing but worry. Your mother needs help however your mother unloaded her personal marriage problems on a young person that is far away and is not capable of helping her. This is not nice, even though I sympathize with your mother this was not a fair thing to do.

See where you are now? All torn up and unable to concentrate on your studies, this is what you should be doing instead of worrying about your mother.

Should your mother have shared this? Yes, perhaps someday. Perhaps when you were home and things were calm she could have shared about this awful incident.

You said that you feel very guilty that you were not there to protect your mother as you have a special relationship. You were not put on this earth to protect your mother it is the other way around. I am sure you love her very much, I am sure she loves you very much but you should not feel guilty for not being there to protect her.

Go to Jesus, he loves you and can help. Please know that your mother and father's life is not yours to fix but Christs' to fix. The best thing you can do right now is to live the best life you can life and be a good student and pray. I am sorry I do not have more to offer you , please take care as best as you can.



It is important that the police be notified. It may be hard to turn in a report on your own father, but if he is hurting your mom he may need considerable help, and he needs to be under some supervision.

I do not know how comfortable you would be with asking them to meet with a priest for marriage counciling as well, but if you can find the courage, doing so may be of much help.

The first thing, though, is to make sure that he’s not free to physically harm your mother, and so if you are in the United States, I would suggest submitting an annonymous report with the police.

As to forgiving: do your very best. Pray about it, and pray for your father. Remember that forgiving does not mean pretending like the thing never happened; your father has betrayed your trust, so you should forgive him, but you should still realize that he may still be untrustworthy.

Please be safe.


First of all, it does not appear that your mom is in danger of continual abuse correct? And we do not know the extent or damage of this physical attack. Actually, neither do you being away from home, am I correct?
The posters stating to immediately call the police I think are jumping the gun [expression] so to speak.
What we're looking at is at least a verbally abusive relationship. What are the consequences of her leaving your father. It will break the family up. Reporting it to the police will cause potentially more harm to the situation as they may stay together anyway, and if they break up as a result that is tragic as the family will be broken up as well.
This is your moms problem. Leave her to deal with it, she is an adult and can make her decisions as she chooses, it is not your role/responsibility to report this. I would strongly advise being a shoulder to cry on but this is not under your jurisdiction. Pray for her and him that they can grow closer together and show their love to each other.



I don't know if you are here in the US or in Poland (judging by your screen name); however, I would also suggest that your mother contact a domestic violence hotline or shelter to help formulate an escape plan. I have heard it said that the most dangerous time for an abused person is the moment when he or she leaves. Another dangerous time is when he is confronted by the outside world, as you confronted him.

Since "the cat is out of the bag", so to speak, as now he knows that you know and he cannot cover it up, so there is a possiblilty that you too could be a target, so if your university has self-defense courses for women (which is NOT the same as learning karate to beat someone up), I would sign up.

My purpose is not to alarm you, but it as they say, "better safe than sorry".

Also, were alcohol or drugs a factor?


Both the priest and the police can serve a valuable role of forcing the issue into the open, putting it on the record that your dad has a problem with domestic violence, and thus forcing your dad to back up and think twice before he becomes violent again. The police may even require your dad to take an anger management course, meant to teach him how to deal with his feelings, and how to avoid becoming violent again.


Your father said it didn’t happen but your mother said it did. However during the time you lived with your parents it is been well over a decade since your father physically abused your mother. I don’t think you have enough information to be calling the police.


If you are afraid to call the police, then call an information abuse hotline and ask them for advice. I would also contact your parish priest too and get him involved.


[quote="estesbob, post:9, topic:215001"]
Your father said it didn't happen but your mother said it did. However during the time you lived with your parents it is been well over a decade since your father physically abused your mother. I don't think you have enough information to be calling the police.


I agree. You did not witness the event, you only have second hand information, and these are two adults, not a case of suspected child abuse. The one to call the police is your mother and it should have been done at the time. Had you been there, witnessed it, and then called the police, they would have responded, but I seriously doubt they would respond to you calling them now. Perhaps you should educate yourself about domestic violence, and encourage your mother to do so also, so she is aware there is help for her in this situation and what steps she needs to take, if she chooses to take them.

Try to realize that you are not responsible for any of this. Your dear mother has to assume the responsibility for protecting herself, and you can only do so much in supporting her and encouraging her, but she ultimately has to make her own choices. I encourage you to learn about domestic violence yourself, because this type of thing tends to perpetuate itself in families with a history of emotional/physical abuse, and you may find yourself unwittingly in the same situation by the choices you make in a future partner. You need to be aware of how this works, and the signs of a tendency for this in the men you will date.

And ask God for the Grace to forgive your father. You don't need to accept the behavior or condone it in any way, just forgive your father for your own peace of mind.


Hi Polishgirl:

Thanks for posting!

I work with DV victims, and I know how difficult this must be for you and your family. Unfortunately, because you are so far away and you weren’t there, it’s difficult for you to be able to do a lot except pass on information. Domestic violence is a very difficult thing to evaluate, even from up close–even when one party is in the wrong, the solutions are rarely as simple as “leave and get a divorce” or “stay and work it out.” Since you are asking for advice, this is mine:

-urge your mother to contact her parish priest for support, so long as y’all have a good relationship with him and he can be trusted. He can help put your mom in touch with resources to help their marriage, if that’s appropriate. He could also put her in touch with other help if needed, for her.

-if your mother is worried about continual violence (and she may well be; it is possible there are things she isn’t telling you), please tell her to contact the national domestic violence hotline. 1.800.799.SAFE (7233). They can put her in touch with local resources to help her.

Above all, pray for her. Pray the rosary! This will help your soul to find peace, and bring God’s grace to the situation. As for your anger, perhaps you should go seek counseling (most universities have free counseling available to students) either from your university center or your parish priest, if he feels comfortable with that.

I’ll pray for you, and your family.

  1. Keep YOURSELF strong so that you can be there for your mom if needed. Go to Mass, go talk to a priest, see a school counselor. You are still a young person and YOU need support to deal with the news you are hearing.

  2. I agree that you should contact your Parish priest. Ask him to call you at a time you can talk to him privately and at length

  3. PRAY for your mom and your dad. Pray, pray, pray.

  4. Encourage your mom to seek help. It is her place to do so. She is the adult. She needs to protect herself and seek help. You can find resources for her, but she needs to reach out.

I am SO sorry that you are going through this at all, much less while away at school. Again, keep yourself strong in your faith and health and even your academics. As hard as it may seem, you have to keep going with your life during this.



National Domestic Violence Hotline (if you are in the US)
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)


Thank you all soo much for all your advice.:slight_smile:
I already talked with a Priest, and he helped me somewhat.
Yes it was physical abuse not verbal. My dad chocked my mom, and threw her down the stairs.
Yes we are in the USA, and yes I am Polish.
No there was no alcohol or drugs involved. My dad doesn’t drink or do drugs but he has a temper. I know that I cant protect my mom every time, but I feel so guilty because when I was with her this didn’t happen and when I’m away, this incident shocked me so much. Yes I am definitely praying for them and for myself. I am not calling the police just yet. I am going this weekend to visit my mom as she needs me and I need to see her so that I can have some comfort. Im not scared of my dad, and I know he wouldn’t touch me. He might try to leave our family as he sometimes does say that he wants to die, and one day he won’t come back to us, but then he turns it around and says but who will then support you guys? I dont understand the logic of his thoughts. I am more and more thinking that maybe he is depressed. When I tell him to see a therapist he says hes not crazy. My dad doesnt understand that seeing a therapist doesnt mean you have a mental illness.
I suffer from anorexia as well. I have relapsed but I’m not doing as bad as I was. I have to say that my anorexia is partly because of my dad but not 100% of course.
Anyway thank you for all the prayers once again!!

Thank you for


Thanks for the update, PolishGirl.

You should be aware that domestic violence workers often do a "lethality assessment" of the situation, to determine how much in danger a given victim is in and to help with safety planning. Choking is one of the big red flags for increased danger. Please urge your mother to get help from a domestic violence shelter or hotline; they can direct her to further sources of aid, and maybe even help your father get to anger management classes.

This is not legal advice, but to inform you that if this happened, what your father did is illegal and it is abuse. It doesn't matter that your parents are married, that he was angry, it wouldn't even matter if she "started it"--it's abuse and it's illegal.

I continue to pray for you and your family!


Praying for your family - that is very serious - IMO your mom needs to file charges for that level of violence but that is easier said than done sometimes. often police will not want toget involved if there are no marks - or atleast that has been my experience.


Because of the new information in your last post, I advise going ahead and calling the police. Choking someone and throwing them down stairs isn’t a little burst of anger, it’s potentially fatal. Adding that to his statements about wanting to die himself, and you have a dangerous situation. Better safe than sorry. :gopray:


Not only is that not going to happen in terms of law, but your advice is more likely to cause panic and confusion if she happened to do that.

Are you drunk?


[quote="Several_Flies, post:19, topic:215001"]
Not only is that not going to happen in terms of law, but your advice is more likely to cause panic and confusion if she happened to do that.

Are you drunk?


Several Flies - while filing for divorce may be debatable depending on how the father handles once the OP came out and said the father had choked mom and thrown down her the stairs - yes law enforcement needs to be involved in order to get a restraining order. The OP herself has anorexia nervosa in part due to the abuse - it needs to stop here. That is why people like counselors, doctors, etc are mandated reporters in situations like this meaning they are REQUIRED to notify the authorities.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit