If you know or suspect that someone is a victim of domestic violence, you might feel unsure about the best way to help. Don’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing prevent you from reaching out. Waiting for the perfect words could keep you from seizing the opportunity to change a life. The world for many domestic abuse victims can be lonely, isolated, and filled with fear. Sometimes reaching out and letting them know that you are there for them can provide tremendous relief.
Reasons Why Victims Stay
It can be hard to understand why someone you care about would seemingly choose to stay in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Here are a few reasons why it’s not easy to part ways.
You’ll also want to help them get information on any laws regarding protective orders/restraining orders and child custody information. You can search state by state for legal information on WomensLaw.org.
If the victim asks you to do something specific and you are willing to do it, don’t hesitate to help.
If you are unable to, try to find other ways the need can be met. Identify their strengths and assets, and help them build and expand upon them, so they find the motivation to help themselves.
The important thing is to let them know that you are there for them, available at any time. Just let them know the best way to reach you if help is needed. If possible, offer to go along for moral support to the police, court, or lawyer’s office.
Let the person know they are not alone and help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799−7233 or our 24/7 Hotline at (936) 441-7273 for immediate assistance and a referral to nearby counseling services or support groups.
If you feel that you, or a loved one, may be in a potentially violent relationship, it is important to plan for the safety of the person as well as children, pets, and property. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to enhance safety while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave.
For information on assisting them with a safety plan click HERE
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