My daughter has been living with a guy for a couple of years now. It is a horrible relationship from what I can see. He seems to be a lovely person when sober but abusive and a bit violent when he drinks. I have never seen him when he is drunk.

He has a good job and plenty of money so can afford to drink more nights than the average person. Of course, against my advice, my daughter drinks a lot too.

The result is they fight. He pushes her, she hits him back and they end up bruising each other. He has pictures on his phone of his injuries.

He also has kept text messages my daughter sent him which proves she has hit him, although they are both at fault.

She doesn`t want to live with him any longer but every time she talks about leaving, he refuses to let her go. He says if she tries to leave he will go to the police with his picture and text "evidence" and get her prosecuted.

Apparently he has an ex partner, with two children, and she got out an interdict against him over his behaviour.

He tells my daughter there is no way she is going to do the same .

My daughter and I are at our wits' end. Surely this is blackmail and that is a crime but neither of us knows what to do.

Can you offer any advice?

A) This is an abusive relationship where as you both realise both parties are at fault.

The difficulty is that if she does not remove herself from the situation it may only get worse and something more serious than bruises can happen. Regrettably some people have a Jekyll and Hyde personality when they have alcohol. He may be perfectly pleasant when sober but if he cannot stay away from alcohol and becomes completely different, it may only be a matter of time before he does something worse. Or, your daughter may do something worse than she already has.

She needs to get away from the cycle she finds herself in. Yes there is a risk he could go to the police but if she was truly acting in self defence she has an explanation for why he was bruised and she may be able to persuade the procurator fiscal to drop any prosecution. If he did go to the police about it, and she was arrested, it is likely bail conditions would be put in place to stop her seeing him anyway!