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My friend is dating a sexual abuser, how do I tell her?

Community Member
My friend and soon to be roommate is dating someone whom I know personally has sexually abused other friends of mine multiple times. I found out earlier in the year of this from friends themselves, and one of my roommates who was good friends with him confronted him, to which he very clearly bullshitted and went straight on defensive at it being brought up (it was pretty clear he was guilty, and duh these girls had no reason to lie, one of them ended up moving out because of him and he was nearly kicked out by management when the girl brought it up, but she just wanted to be done with it so they let him stay). My friend has been dating this person a large portion of the year and they are at the love stage and everything. This guy is a big member of our friend group and due to me having a lot of personal fears of abandonment by the group if I stir trouble as has happened previously, as well and more importantly, these friends told me this about him in confidence and I don’t know how they would feel if I outed him, I feel almost like it’s not my place. I hate his guts and avoid him where ever possible but I’m really worried about the new year because he’ll be at the apartment constantly with my friend. I really want to tell my friend, I didn’t really know her when they first started dating and I was only just finding out about him and it’s so far into the relationship I don’t know how she will react. I’m so confused and have been for months on what to do, I’m really worried for her and feel like she deserves to know the truth, but again I don’t know whether it’s my place and how she will feel about finding out. What do I do? He doesn’t deserve to be in the friend group but again, he is popular, there are nearly 15 of us who hang out regularly most of them guys who are close to him, and I’m scared it will get brushed under the rug and I’ll make an enemy of myself with the people who I’m living with since we’re all in student accommodation. Someone please help me, I don’t know what to do I feel awful for not telling her but I’m so conflicted. Desperately in need of advice.
3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi Tevilo,

This is a really tough situation to be in and I can certainly understand your hesitation and confusion about whether to tell your friend about her boyfriend. I wonder why the other friends who have confided in you have not told her about him? Are they also concerned about being removed from the friendship group? Is she in danger of being hurt physically or emotionally? Would you be, if you roommate with her? Has he changed or become a better person as part of his relationship with her?

I would want to know about the abuse if it were me, though if you do tell her there's a very good chance she will not thank you and you would probably be excluded from the group. This is a real moral dilemma. My advice would be to ask yourself what is more important in this situation and consider the consequences for yourself and others for whichever action you decide. Weigh it up.

I hope this helps.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Tevilo~

This matter has obviosly been weighting on your mind for some time and when close to the people concerned it can be very difficult to see a clear path. It is only natural after all to look after the welfare of friends.

I think that the questions given asked WaterFront are very sensible, and do require thought. I would like to point out a few other things as well.

I apologize because I'm going to be rahter blunt, however I feel you may find that useful in making up your mind.

Firstly I'm unsure what you mean by abuse. This can be something unlawful, however you have not said so.

The second thing is you have no direct experience of being abused by this person. From a careful reading of your post you may have been present for an accusation with a denial, but nothing else.

Indeed you have been told certain things in confidence, but people have many reasons for what they say, it is not the same as if something happened to you or you were present when it happened.

This means anything you say is unsubstantiated.

Another factor is the persons who told you matters in confidence. Assuming what they said is true should you reveal what they said you would be doing two things, the first being exposing those people as being the victims of abuse, which they may not want at all, and secondly are breaking a trust.

I would imagine the only times it would be clear-cut that for you to take some form of action if to your personal knowledge something unlawful had happened or if you felt for valid reasons that a person was in clear and immediate danger of physical harm.

As you are worried about your friend I would think one thing you could do is to suggest to the persons who told you things in confidence, them having had direct peronal experence, they seek your your friend and relate their experience, if they are willing to do so.

If they are not willing then you may be doing more harm than good by repeating what they said.

This way you have not made an unsubstantiated accusation, have not exposed any friends or broken trust with them , and have made what reasonable efforts you can to put your friend in the picture wihtout becoming directly involved.

Do you think this might be a suitable way to handle things?


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tevilo, thanks for coming to the forums.

I know your intentions are for looking out for your friends is honourable, however, if he is still accepted in the group, then a distinction between a sexual abuser and having an affair needs to be qualified and although they may not be suitable for your friend dating him, there is a slight difference.

If you can get back to us that would be great and sorry to ask these questions.