Do you suspect your friend is experiencing abuse in a relationship? This can be scary, and you may not know how to help them. Here are some tips you need to know...
There are a few things to keep in mind before approaching your friend:
They may be too embarrassed or scared to tell you
They may not realize they are in an abusive relationship
If they know the relationship is unhealthy, they might not be willing/ready to leave the relationship
After leaving, they may return to their abuser several times
The ultimate decision to leave can only be made by your friend. However, there are many things you can do to help them.
Love is Respect recommends the following tips:
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who you think needs help.
- Tell them you’re concerned for their safety and want to help.
- Show them that this behavior is unacceptable and will continue to get more dangerous.
- Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
- Help your friend recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and is NOT their fault. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship, free of abuse.
- Focus on your friend or family member, not the abusive partner. Even if your loved one stays with their partner, it’s important they still feel comfortable talking to you about it.
- Connect your friend to resources in their community that can give them information and guidance.
- Remember, loveisrespect.org can help.
- Help them make a safety plan, with this resource.
- If they break up with the abusive partner, continue to be supportive after the relationship is over.
- Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, don’t forget that by being supportive and caring — you’re already doing a lot.
- Don’t contact their abuser or publicly post negative things about them online. It’ll only worsen the situation for your friend.