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I'm almost 15 years old and my father frequently physically and verbally abuses me. My being chinese certainly has a factor in this, but since I live in Texas, it is not legal. Usually it is for disciplinary purposes, but he has such a tight hold, that if I even watch a YouTube during a weeknight, he will begin to beat me. He usually hits me in the head, so that my hair will cover the bruises. Any help on stopping him? I don't want to call the police or CPS because I know he just wants to help me, even if his methods are extremely unorthodox in the current age. I only want to stop the beatings since the verbal abuse is easily endurable.

  • This question appears to be off-topic. However as a parent who cares so deeply for my child and a human being who cares about others, I have posted an answer in the hopes that it helps! – Sylas Seabrook Oct 10 '14 at 6:06
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    Verbal abuse is not endurable. It leaves a wound that you probably won't recognize until further down the road. Trust me on this. Seek help. You don't have to give them specifics if you don't want to, but just let them know there is a problem. Someone. Anyone. Just get some help. – SomeShinyMonica Oct 10 '14 at 12:30
  • I know it might be difficult, but can you specify details about how he's abusing you? Specifically, how and where is he hitting you? How hard and how much? What does he say, exactly? The reason I ask is that, depending on precisely what he's doing, it may or may not be enough to have a legitimate legal case for intervention by police or CPS. I don't know what the laws are in Texas, but some states - especially more conservative and Southern states - do allow (appropriate) corporal punishment of (minor) children by parents. – Patrick87 Oct 10 '14 at 15:39
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    >because I know he just wants to help me. In what way is this helpful to you? – RedSonja Jan 21 '15 at 14:59
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is too serious a question to expect this forum to be able to handle. – Chris Sunami Aug 30 '17 at 16:32
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I cannot give you legal advice, for that I must say to consult a lawyer. However, I know that at 15yo (the age of my daughter), that such a statement is meaningless. Furthermore, as a natural American, I do not know the cultural requirements implied by being Chinese and in America.

That said, in America you have 2 choice as far as I know:

  1. Speak with your father and work on a mutually agreeable and non-violent solution. This is most definitely the preferred solution.

  2. If communication does not prevent violence then your only other options are to seek exit by family or by law. If by law, they will either try to place you with related family or if that is not available in a "home" of some sort -- some better than others.

This is an impossible choice you have been given and one that has consequences lasting far beyond your youth, so I highly recommend consulting your own family for advice as they will taken into account cultural issues and options you have not expressed here because you may not know them.

I wish you the best and hope that option #1 is what ends up providing the solution!

  • Yes, #1 is definitely the right approach! If you are absolutely sure that he just wants to help you, and his methods are just unorthodox, then he shouldn't respond drastically when you talk with him and tell him it needs to stop. If possible, as in you're sure it won't cause him an outburst, I would also let him know that you are considering #2, if #1 does not work. It might be enough for him to see the error of his ways, but maybe talk to somebody else before hand. Let them know that you're going to have a chat with him before hand. – mykepwnage Oct 10 '14 at 14:02
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Another option that is not very satisfying, but may still be the least bad of several bad options: follow his unreasonable rules to avoid the beatings, keep out of trouble, try to do exceptionally well in school, and when you graduate from high school and turn 18, move out, never depend on him or put yourself in a physically vulnerable position again, and (optionally) never see him again.

You should recognize that in the grand scheme of your life, the time period in which he can control you is short and rapidly running out, and then you'll be free. When you're 30, you truly won't care that you didn't watch YouTube videos on school nights when you were 15. Console yourself by imagining the day when you have kids and you get to tell him that he cannot be alone with them because he beat you when you were a kid, and you won't allow that to happen to your child.

I'm basing this on your statement that it's all bearable except for the beatings which are almost always because of breaking rules (unreasonable though they may be). It pains me to make the recommendation, but it may be the strategy that messes your life up the least.

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    I grew up in an abusive household. It is clear you have not. Pleasing an abuser is not about following their rules -- it's about having nothing they can beat you about when the time is wrong for them. I got straight-A's and was beat less than my brother and sister... not b/c I was better than either of them, but b/c my father could more easily come up with an excuse. (Side note: he's actually a very good, quality man now!) – Sylas Seabrook Oct 17 '14 at 4:17
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    Me too. They hit you because they need to. If you are not doing anything "wrong" they invent new rules so you can be breaking one. I never left my kids alone with my dad. – RedSonja Jan 21 '15 at 15:02
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    Later in life, when it was much too late for us all, he got diagnosed as bipolar and the medication turned him into a delightful old grandad. We still despised him. – RedSonja Jan 21 '15 at 15:04
  • My only escape (in UK in the 70s it was still ok for people to beat their children) was doing as well as I could at school and getting out of there, and not going back until I was an adult with a black belt. – RedSonja Jan 21 '15 at 15:05
  • The abuser can have psychological issues, ranging from stress and anxiety to maniac depression and bipolar disorder. Then there are a lot of other contributing factors ranging from cultural disposition to that parents own childhood experiences. This can lead to unpredictability (any silly incident can lead to verbal or corporal punishment). Point is: enduring the rules might not work, and that is with a chance to actual bruising just not acceptable. Please look for professional counseling as that might be available at your school. – YoYo Jan 27 '16 at 16:56
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This is going to get downvoted to hell, but I'm going to post it anyway, since the accepted answers are "Dad, please stop beating me" (unlikely to hurt, but does anybody here really think that will work?) or "Call in CPS" (and end up in a foster home that's highly likely to be worse), both of which are vaguely ridiculous.

You're 15, and per your username, I suspect you're male. You're thus likely physically roughly as strong as your father, and if you're not, you can be with a bit of exercise.

So the next time he starts beating you, physically restrain him from doing so. Grab his arms, pull his arms behind his back, wrestle him to the floor, whatever it takes (within reason). This will a) prevent you from getting beaten this time, b) make it much less likely that he'll try again, and c) send an extremely clear message that you're not a little kid he can push around anymore.

Now you're likely to get some pretty severe backlash for disrespecting your elders etc, but as long as you stay cool and don't let this escalate into a pub brawl, you will have the upper hand morally and physically. Good luck! And here's hoping you don't end up in a "troubled teen" boot camp.

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    I believe you missed the by family component of option 2. As Isaac Asimov so adeptly put it, "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." – Sylas Seabrook Oct 12 '14 at 0:40
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    I'm not suggesting he beat up his father, simply that he defend himself. – lambshaanxy Oct 12 '14 at 2:48
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    Most 15 year olds are not in the same physical league as a grown adult male, particularly one who has shown he is willing and able to inflict violence on a family member. (He probably would already have stopped if the kid were physically imposing.) It's at least as likely that this will be an escalation in the severity of household violence, or result in being thrown out of the house, or worse. – lgritz Oct 14 '14 at 21:48
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    +1 In First World Perfection Land we like to say that a good poke in the snout won't solve anything, but often it does. – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Oct 17 '14 at 3:40
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    @jpatokal If you live with the attacker, anything less than lethal force is a waste of time, and will only serve to make him angrier, and any subsequent beating more severe. – user1751825 Mar 1 '16 at 0:58
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You don't need to contact the police directly yourself. Talk to a teacher, or student counselor, and tell them what's happening. They will help you with the next steps.

On your own you cannot stop your father from beating you, and anything you try will make it worse. In this situation you need outside help.

Don't worry about the outcome for your father. This is not your problem. Worry only about doing what you need to do to protect yourself.

  • Really? And who will take care of paying bills? Your suggestion can make them homeless. – Grasper Aug 29 '17 at 18:02
  • @Grasper Are you actually suggesting that this person accept being physically abused, in order to avoid becoming homeless? That's hardly an optimal solution. In a country like the US, there are organisations that can help support kids to get out of these situations. A teacher or student counselor (as I said) can provide specific recommendations. – user1751825 Aug 30 '17 at 2:29
  • no, I'm not suggesting him being abused. I provided the answer below. – Grasper Aug 30 '17 at 12:23
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Ask your mother to protect you from his violent attacks. If she doesn't, report him to the police. Assault is illegal. Also seek out charities that can give you psychotherapy to help you undo some of the inevitable damage his physical and emotional violence will have done to your sense of self.

As a 35 year old who was repeatedly attacked by my father as a child and a teenager, I can tell you that the longer you allow him to do this, the more harm will come to you in the long run, and the more difficult it will be to fix the psychological problems that accumulate as a result.

Defend yourself. Demand protection from him. Imagine how much you would want to protect someone else if you saw them being attacked, and now apply this courage and compassion to yourself.

  • Wrong approach. If he gets to prison they won't have food the next day and maybe even pay rent. – Grasper Aug 29 '17 at 18:01
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What about stop watching Youtube? If you stop watching YT and the problem continues then you can do what the others recommend. I would first talk to your family members and try to solve it there. If this is not simply possible to solve within your family you need to get him help. He is the one who can't manage his own anger and need to get counseling or some kind of mental treatment.

I'm sure he feels frustrated that you constantly misbehave by watching YT. He has his own problems and this just adds up to his frustration. But of course, he shouldn't physically beat you but choose different kind of punishment that is more productive. What about taking away your cell-phone? Or maybe just down-grade your phone to something that can only dial numbers.

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