Our Number One Priority is Victim Safety.
Is someone you love in an abusive relationship?
It can be hard to know exactly what to say or how to ask when you suspect someone is in an abusive relationship. Whether it is physical, emotional or you have any concern about the lack of equality or safety in the relationship, it is OK to ask.. There are some great pieces of literature out there and local resources to help you too. Click HERE for a free helpful download.
Here are a few tips to help you be supportive;
LISTEN WITHOUT JUDGMENT OR SOLUTIONS.
This may seem easy but can actually be the most important thing you do. Her reality may seem like a nightmare to you but it is just her reality and one that she needs to believe she has some control over.
You may be friends with or enjoy the company of the abuser. Most likely she knows this and is afraid no one will believe what she sees when no one else is around.
Refrain from pointing out his flaws or your opinion about him. This will only put her in a position of defending him and may make you a unsafe person to talk with. Also, most victims will return to their abuser, on average 7 times, before successfully leaving. Instead, talk about how wonderful and strong and deserving of love and safety you believe her to be. The goal is to empower her to make her own decision to leave.
ASK HOW SHE WOULD LIKE HELP.
She may just want to talk and that's OK. She may need you to be a part of her safety plan or help with resources such as money, a vehicle, a babysitter, a place to hide a get-away bag or a friend to go with her to a shelter or police. Just be prepared to support her, again without judgement or solution.
Please go to our COMMUNITY page to get a list of local resources.
Talking to a domestic violence advocate is always free, confidential and comes without obligations.