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April 29, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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Being a slave


I have a friend whose mother passed away when she was a child. Her father went to live his own life, so she was taken in by her aunt. They abuse her. They call her “stupid” and a “fool,” and tell her she is worthless. And on top of this she has to cook, clean, and look after her aunt’s children and their homes. Just like a slave she is not paid for the work she does. I think it’s abuse. She cries all the time and doesn’t want to live. What should I do?

Charles, 57-year-old man


Charles, THANK YOU for being there for this person.

There is too little information in your post for me to get an idea of the situation. A lot depends on how old she is. Is she still a child or an adult? If she is an adult, she can choose to leave. If she is still a child, things depend on where she lives. Many places have child protection laws in place, and she can contact the authorities.

Finally, have you actually observed the situation, or do you only have her word for it? I accept that she feels this way, but the aunt’s story may be very different. Regardless, this girl or woman is suffering from depression. She could seek help for this. That should not be antidepressant medication in the first instance, but counseling from a competent person. If she can’t afford to pay for it, in many places free services are available.

If you read this, suggest to the young woman that she contact me, at bob@bobswriting.com

Once again, thank you for caring.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 31 years experience as a psychologist and is registered with the Australian Psychological Society. He practices in Australia. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counsellor.

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