If you suspect a friend or loved one is experiencing abuse at home or in their relationship, it can be a difficult and emotional experience. There are key ways for you to show up for this person and offer them support without provoking the situation further. Consider these three tips which can help you navigate this incredibly challenging time.
Help Them Find Support
Finding a way out of the abuse can be intimidating or even result in further harm for many victims. As their friend, you can help them find a domestic abuse lawyer Hernando County FL who understands that these situations must be handled carefully. It is not your job to fix the situation, but you can help support them.
Listen & Be Supportive
As you look to help your friend or loved one, avoid temptations to dictate what happens in this situation. It is your job to listen, offer support and validate their feelings, as there can often internalized shame. Assure them that this has never and will never be their fault, but you are there to help and listen. Keep in mind that this is about them, not you, and it may require some patience on your part. Just be there without forcing them.
Create a Safety Plan
One of the hardest things about abuse can be the lack of power that is stripped away from the victim. You can help them regain some of this power and control by helping them to create a safety plan so that they can escape the situation. Consider planning out a strategy with them to determine the safest and least risky route.
When you are looking to help someone escape the abuse that they are experiencing, it can be a scary time. It is important that you not take over the situation and instead, allow the person who is being abused the ability to drive the situation. While you can encourage and support them, it is not your job to serve as their knight who is there to save them.