Watching a loved one suffer at the hands of domestic abuse is never easy, and can leave you feeling helpless as you try to determine the best way to help them. Hope is not lost, though, and there are a few things you can do to provide your loved ones with support, safety, or advice in these troubling times. Below are four essential things that you can do if you want to help a domestic violence victim.
Help Form a Safety Plan
Getting out of a situation of domestic violence can often be risky to the victim. By helping your loved one develop a plan that removes them from the situation in a safe manner, you can help ease some of the risks associated with leaving an abusive partner.
During this time, it's essential to ensure that your loved one has the resources they need to move forward securely. For example, they should know exactly who to call and where to go in an emergency. It also guarantees that the means are in place for a safe escape from the situation at hand. Not only will this information give your loved one help and support, but it also offers you slightly more peace of mind.
Provide Useful Resources
Victims of domestic violence don't always know where to turn in these turbulent situations. You can help them by researching some helpful resources for them and discussing their options. If there is an immediate threat, 911 should be called immediately. Make sure they know and understand that this should be the first thing they do in times of emergency.
Another way to help is by putting victims in touch with support groups, offering them the number for a crisis hotline, helping them find shelters in the area, and talking about their legal options - should they choose to pursue them. For example, a protective order can prevent further harm from coming their way. Providing these resources is a great first start when trying to support your loved one.
Be Non-Judgemental and Listen
If you find yourself in a situation where a victim of domestic violence refuses to remove themself from the situation, it is crucial to remain as non-judgemental as possible. You can offer your opinion and advice, but it is essential to be mindful of the fact that your judgment and harsh words will likely only push your loved one away when they most need support.
Domestic violence is not always physical; it can include mental and verbal abuse as well. Abusers are often incredibly manipulative and can twist their words and actions into something that the victim doesn’t realize is abusive. Coming at them with this news can cause an opposite reaction where they either don’t want to acknowledge the situation or are so afraid of their abuser that they will flat out deny it.
Speak Up When Necessary
Although you should never pressure or judge a victim of domestic violence, you should absolutely speak up to your loved one so that they can see the situation from a new perspective. Do not hesitate to tell the victim that you believe they are in danger and aware of the violence happening.
At the very least, speaking up lets the victim know that they have someone to confide in and support when they feel ready to address the situation directly. Hear them out and, again, come up with a safety plan so that they have the resources they need when the time comes that they are ready to leave the situation.
If you or a loved one find yourself in a dangerous situation, contact The Law Office of Timothy M. Ghobrial at (949) 751-1420 to discuss your options and learn more about obtaining a protective order.