For the past two or three years, my friend has been in unrequited love with an asshole who was emotionally abusive to a previous girlfriend. Friend does not know this.

I, along with the rest of our friend group, have hesitantly held off telling her about the abuse for two main reasons. 1) I didn't know who the girlfriend was until recently (though others did), so the accusations felt like they might be a nasty rumor. 2) More importantly, we learned a long time ago that any criticism of this guy would drive Friend further away from us and closer to him, which is the last thing we want.

Recently I got a name to go with the rumors, which gives them more credence. Should we tell Friend? If so, how? Again, her feelings are unrequited, but they are close friends and she herself has admitted that the relationship is slowly killing her.

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To complicate matters, I know who the ex-girlfriend is, but I don't actually know her (one person in our friend group does). A sizable proportion of our school, including Friend and I, have heard this woman talk about her abusive relationship and how she is still scared to publicly name the guy (the kicker is that he was also in the audience). I don't think we have permission to name her, but naming her might be the only way to convince Friend that the accusations are valid. And since this woman has already graduated, it's starting to feel like telling Friend might be worth it.

I don't want to share this information without the ex-girlfriend's consent, but holding back might get Friend really hurt in the long run. And then there's the chance that telling Friend might explode in our faces. Help?