10th April 2019

What To Do If Someone You Know Is Victim of Domestic Abuse

If you know a victim of domestic abuse, you may feel lost about what to do.  You may be afraid of saying the wrong thing, or that the situation could worsen if you reach out to help.

However, no one deserves to be a victim of abuse.  If they have children, it’s all the more reason for you to take action.  As a victim, they’re likely feeling isolated and scared. Reaching out and helping them could change their family’s life.

It’s important to note, however, that you should only reach out if it’s warranted.  Without proof of abuse, you may be wrongly accusing someone of domestic violence based on speculation alone.

If you are sure that you know someone who is a victim of domestic abuse, then you should follow these tips for getting them the help that they deserve.

Confront Them During a Moment Of Calm

It’s best not to get involved in the middle of an altercation or when their emotions are running high.  If you bring up wanting to help when they’re feeling emotionally vulnerable, it may blow up in your face.

Set some time aside to have a calm talk about wanting to help them get out of danger. Calmly point out the signs of abuse that you’ve seen and assure them that you’re available to help them.

If they resist talking about the abuse, don’t push. Take things calmly, and let them open up at their own pace.

Don’t Judge

A common reason why a lot of abuse victims don’t want to talk is because they’re afraid of being judged.  If the person you know does start to open up about their situation, be as quiet as possible.

Be a good listener and lend a compassionate ear.  Let them talk without offering any judgment or advice.  You may ask questions, but avoid giving advice yet. Since they may not have opened up about the incident with anyone else yet, it may be a delicate situation.

Believe Them

Many victims don’t tell anyone about the abuse they’ve endured because they’re afraid no one will believe them.  Often abusers are overly charming and kind with others in order to mask their true selves. It’s not uncommon for the people you least expect to be abusive.

Therefore, if someone confides in you about the abuse they’ve experienced, you should never question them.  Doing so could cause them to shut down completely.

Use Words Of Encouragement

If you genuinely want to help the person, it’s essential that you validate their feelings.  Assure them that they don’t deserve to be hurt. Tell them you care about them and want the very best for them.

Let them know that they deserve love and compassion as well as a healthy relationship.  By encouraging them without judgment, hopefully, they’ll start to adopt the same mentality. Offer help and resources and always show up when you say you will.  With enough compassion and patience, hopefully, they will follow your guidance towards safety.

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