My best friend of seven years told me she was pregnant earlier this year. She is only 24 and has a low-paid job and still lives at home. I offered support to her and I’m sure her family will do the same.

The problem is that the father of her baby is an alleged paedophile. He is older than she is and has children of his own who he is banned from seeing. My friend told me he is banned from staying overnight with children in the house until his probation comes to an end (he’d been in prison for assaulting someone).

I asked a family friend to look him up and they also found two allegations of sexual assault against him involving his own children and someone else’s baby. But the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

I gave my friend all the information and, naturally, she was devastated and confronted him, but he denied everything and she believed him. They had broken up a few weeks earlier, as he said he didn’t want children. I think she kept the baby just to get him back.

I don’t think she should have a baby with this man and I told her that. I also said I couldn’t support her decision and be her friend any longer. But I’m still really worried as she is due to have the baby shortly and she may turn a blind eye to anything this man is capable of.

She didn’t question him at all when she found out he couldn’t stay overnight in the same house as his kids. She is blinded by love. I have texted her since, but she replied saying we weren’t friends any longer. How can I help her from a distance?

Aunty Lisa says

As a friend, I think you just have to take a step back now she doesn’t want to listen to what you have to say. However, don’t close the door – let her know that if she ever wants your help or advice in the future, you’ll always be there to listen to her and support her.

Once her baby arrives, she may well need you. As frustrating and painful as it is, you may have to wait for her to come to you.

If she’s still living at home with her family, hopefully they are supporting her and will help care for the baby once it arrives. The more friends and family she has around her, supporting her and guiding her, the more confidence she’ll have to make the right decisions when it comes to this man. You don’t mention whether her parents are aware of his criminal history or the alleged abuse.

Perhaps you could ask to speak to her mum in confidence and express your concerns. You can also inform local social services that your friend is pregnant by this man and they’ll investigate.

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