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Dear Dr. Saltzman--

I read some letters that you had written to other girls and i have a question that i wish you could maybe answer for me because there are a very few places i can go for any help.

First little information about myself. My name is Willow Clark, im 17 and in high school i have a boy friend than is 19 and in college. i live in New York City. My question is that he really treats me like a slave now. he picks out my clothes even. i cook for him when i can. i clean his clothes for him i wear whatever he wants me to. Last nite he called me his slave which made me feel sort of warm and cozy.

now im worried that i might indeed be a slave. i dont know what to do.

Please help me.

Thanks i will follow what you say



ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman
Dear Willow--

Your boyfriend is treating you badly, and I am sorry to hear that you have been allowing it. I do not imagine that the problem is that you really are a slave at heart, but that being treated like a slave and being called a slave gives you a feeling of security which comes from "belonging" to someone. This makes me think that you may come from a disordered home of some kind where you do not, for one reason or another, feel accepted, protected, valued, and loved. Often this is the story of young women who allow boyfriends to abuse them in the way that yours is abusing you.

Since you say that you will follow my advice, Willow, here it is: this guy may be a boyfriend, but he is certainly not a friend. In fact, he is an abuser, and you should not have anything do do with a nasty guy like him. Get rid of him right away.

Remember, you asked for my advice, and said you would follow it, so I will repeat my advice: Get rid of him right away. Just tell him that you do not like the way he treats you, and that you are done with him. If you are not able to do this on your own, get some counseling. You can get this kind of counseling at any woman's shelter, and you can get the telephone number for your local shelter by calling, toll-free 1-800-799-SAFE, or 1-800-621-HOPE.

Please call today.

Be well.

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page last modified April 1, 2007

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