My post today is meant to answer some questions that one may ask if they are confronted with the observation that they suspect that someone they know is being abused. Another side to this very important subject of Domestic Violence.
You may suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship because you have seen signs such as their partner exerting an unusual amount of control over their activities or their contact with friends and family. That friend’s partner may demonstrate an extreme jealousy or humiliate them in public with name calling or ridicule. You may have seen your friend with visible injuries such as black eyes, bruises or broken bones. You may have noticed changes in your friend’s behavior since the relationship began or the children in the home acting in odd or unnatural ways.
If your “gut” is telling you that something is up, more than likely it is.
First of all, you must use wisdom in your relationship with your friend and her family. Should you do something? The answer is yes, but what you do must be done kindly, lovingly, prayerfully and in a non-threatening manner.
Here are some things that you can do:
- Pray for your friend and their family.
- Keep the information as confidential as you possibly can.
- Let your friend know you believe them.
- Listen to what your friend is saying. Interrupting and saying things like, “I would never put up with that!” is unhelpful and may actually do harm.
- Tell your friend they don’t deserve to be hurt and that they are not to blame. No one deserves to be mistreated and there is no excuse for abuse.
- Point out the unfairness of how your friend is being treated and what your fears for them are.
- Allow your friend to feel the way they do.
- Find out what your friend wants to do about their relationship and support them no matter what they decide.
- Let your friend know abuse usually gets worse over time.
- Tell your friend you’ll be there if they ever need you.
- Expect your friend to be confused, about their feelings and about what to do. Expect them to change their mind, maybe even a few times.
- Watch your body language and respect your friend’s right to personal space. If your friend has been hurt, they may not want to be hugged.
- Help your friend become informed. Tell them help is available.
- Do some research on your own about what and who in your community is available to help and let her know that you have the information. It may not be safe for you to give her the information, just let her know you have it when she is ready.
- Remember your friend may feel guilty after sharing the story of their abuse for ‘telling’ on their partner.
Here some things that you don’t do:
- Make judgments. Your values and beliefs may be different, and there is a big difference between helping figure out solutions and telling what someone should or should not do.
- Give advice. Instead, talk about your friend’s choices, help them find out who may be able to help, and offer to go with them.
- Ask unnecessary questions. Your questions must be helpful, not nosy.
- Overreact. If you do, your friend may feel stupid or embarrassed. If you let your feelings get in the way, it won’t help theirs.
- Confront your friend’s abusive partner about the abuse. If the partner is violent, it may be dangerous for you and your friend.
Most of the do’s and don’ts in my post were taken from the website below:
FYI-I will be taking a week long break from this subject. As you may be able to imagine, this subject can be very mentally and emotionally draining. Especially for one who is a domestic violence survivor. Thank you so much for your support in climbing this mountain with me. I am doing it in order to lend support and hopefully a little bit of help to the large percentage of children/women/men in this country and the world who are trying to survive while living in homes where this is going on.
If this is your first time to visit my blog, the previous 3 posts have some very informative information on this subject. The links are below.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS AND/OR CONCERNS ABOUT ANYTHING THAT YOU HAVE READ AND ARE IN DANGER AS YOU READ THIS OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS, CALL THIS NUMBER FOR HELP AND/OR ADVICE IMMEDIATELY:
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Love and Blessings to you,