How to guide to help a Friend in an Abusive Relationship

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img_3128This week has been decided to bringing awareness to Domestic Violence.  We have addressed Statistics, Warning Signs and Reasons why victims stay.  Now, these are the 5 thing that you can do help a friend who is in a abusive relationship.

1. Listen. Let them talk. Believe what you hear. When you are abused, your abuser tells you that you are overreacting and it is your fault. So it is hard to assess how bad the abuse is. You believing them will help them get a more robust sense of self. It will build their confidence and help them make important decisions.

2. Talk to them. Negative voices are loudly repeating in their heads. They need kindness and compassion. Be patient. Tell them it is not their fault, that they are worthy and loved by you over and over.

3. Help them plan. It is not easy to “just leave.” Leaving can be extremely dangerous. It may take months or a year to plan. Be patient, think a long time over every idea and possible consequence to find the safest answer. As dangerous it is to live with an abuser, it is often more dangerous to leave.

4. Build a community. Leaving an abusive relationship is very complicated. It is not something to take on without support. Self-doubt is huge and can be immobilizing. Community support is essential. Surround them with people who love them and see them.

5. Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233 to find resources near your the person who is need of services.