We find and summarise many of these articles of abuse and share it with our followers to increase awareness and create a more in-depth understanding of domestic violence. Through these articles, we get sneak peeks into the homes of abusers and their families. Although we become more enlightened on the topic, no one can say they truly understand unless they have experienced domestic violence themselves. Also, every person’s experience can be different based on their coping mechanisms. Before you tell your friend that you understand, if you want to help them, listen; that’s the first step.
In her article on the website PsychCentral, Christine Hammond, Licensed Mental Health Counselour, shares several ways that you can help your friend who is in an abusive relationship.
- Keep your judgement to yourself. Your friend needs a friend, and when you ask questions like, “But why don’t you just leave,” you show a lack of empathy. Your friend will retreat and no longer be open to you. It is crucial to keep the lines of communication open between you and your friend. Abuse can be very confusing, as the abuser would criticise the victim one moment and later praise the victim, especially in front of other people. Hammond says that this kind of behaviour can be very confusing and can give the victim hope that the abuser will change.
- Be available. Show that you care. Even though you sleep by 9 pm and don’t take any phone calls after 8 pm, change your behaviour and make an exception for your friend. Tell them that they can call you anytime and always be ready to respond to their calls for help.
- Give financial support and other resources where possible. Open a bank account for your friend and save money in that account when you can. Introduce your friend to a counselour and pay for the sessions. These are just examples, but there are many other ways to be of assistance.
- Provide a haven. Arrange for your friend to stay with one of your distant relatives when they need to escape the abuser.
There are many ways to help a friend, for more advice, read Hammond’s full article here.