The internet is only all too eager to give advice. Whether it's helpful or not is debatable, but it's available and it's free. They just want to help, right?
In a since deleted post, an anonymous woman explained her situation.
She starts off her post:
"I have no idea what to do. I found out our baby's gender today, and I had to beg my husband to come to my ultrasound. He didn't want to but he gave in and said he would come."
"I knew he wanted a son so I worried he'd be upset but I didn't think something like this would happen. As soon as the doctor said it was a girl, my husband's whole demeanor changed. And he just went silent. And then he made me leave my appointment early."
And it escalates from there:
"I tried to object but he grabbed my arm really hard and told me that we're going home. I had to lie about why I was leaving."
"In the car, he was very agitated and I asked him what was wrong. He told me he wants me to have an abortion."
I asked him why and he told me he doesn't want a girl so I'll get an abortion and we'll try again for a boy. I told him I'm not going to do that and he said 'yeah okay we'll see.'"
She goes on to explain how he exhibited more abusive behavior, "squeezing my thigh painfully tight" and how scared she is, and how her friends wouldn't understand. Then she asks for advice.
Ask the internet for advice and ye shall receive. These Reddit users basically had one piece of advice for her:
"You should be packing your bags and leaving. This is abusive behavior. This is not someone who's just disappointed, this is someone who is dangerous. You and your baby do not need or deserve to live under this kind of stress." - not_bens_wife
"AND you need a restraining order. I don't think he would hesitate to attack you or slip something into your food or drink." - AuntieSocial2104
"The best advice anyone can give you in this situation is to seek help, ASAP. Tell someone you trust and get out. Find a Domestic Violence agency and they will guide you through the rest." - courtyfbaby
"You need to grab your paperwork, legal documents, and anything else you need and go to a hotel or find shelter with a friend and get divorced as soon as possible. This man is insane. You are not a baby machine. You are a human being. I'm so sorry." - Obrigadachan
It really feels like stories like this are all too common on r/Relationship_Advice. They aren't usually this extreme, but there does seem to be a trend where people in seemingly-obvious bad situations ask what they should do.
That, plus the fact that the original poster deleted the original post and their account, led many to believe the story was fake.
"It concerns me that OP isn't responding for 2 reasons:
1. she could be in serious danger and can't respond
2. this is a fake story that is taking advantage of a real problem just for shiggles. If it's fake, the only excusable reason would be to raise awareness, but that's not the vibe I'm getting. It seems to be working, though!" - purplepluppy
"Post history says this is fake." - Gloryinthecosmos
"They don't have a post history. Did they delete it all after your comment?" - TheHoneySacrifice
"Definetly. They were a 30year old man a few days ago" - Gloryinthecosmos
"What's up with all the creative writing majors lately?" - BeastRBunny
.Some feared the worst.
And sensed a distinct pattern.
Domestic violence is no laughing matter. More than half of female murder victims were killed by their partners, often at the end of an abusive relationship.
There is hope. Between 1994 and 2011, rates of domestic violence fell 72%. This is still a problem that affects millions of people, but it's moving in the right direction.
If you or someone you know is in a bad situation, please reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.