ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE IN A VERY DIFFICULT
AND SCARY SITUATION, BE SUPPORTIVE AND LISTEN.
Let them know that the abuse is not their
fault. Reassure them that they are not alone and that there is help and support
out there. It may be difficult for them to talk about the abuse. Let them know
that you are available to help whenever they may need it. What they need most
is someone who will believe and listen.
Respect your friend or family member’s
decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships.
They may leave and return to the relationship many times. Do not criticize
their decisions or try to guilt them. They will need your support even more
during those times.
IF THEY END THE RELATIONSHIP, CONTINUE TO BE
SUPPORTIVE OF THEM.
Even though the relationship was abusive, your
friend or family member may still feel sad and lonely once it is over. They
will need time to mourn the loss of the relationship and will especially need
your support at that time.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES
OUTSIDE OF THE RELATIONSHIP WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Support is critical and the more they feel
supported by people who care for them, the easier it will be for them to take
the steps necessary to get and stay safe away from their abusive partner.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO CAN
PROVIDE HELP AND GUIDANCE.
Encourage the person who is abused or the
abuser if he wants to accept counseling services from professionals.
REMEMBER THAT YOU CANNOT “RESCUE” THEM.
Although it is difficult to see someone you
care about get hurt, ultimately they are the one who has to make the decisions
about what they want to do. It’s important for you to support them no matter
what they decide, and help them find a way to safety and peace.
above text is taken from http://www.thehotline.org/help/
– The National Domestic Violence Hotline