What can I do to be helpful if an abusive situation is revealed?
- Listen to the person and believe her! Minimizing or excusing the abuse does not help.
- Tell her that the abuse is not her fault, and is not God’s will for her.
- You might say, “You deserve to feel safe, valued, and respected in your relationship.”
- Don’t automatically tell her to leave. Help her feel empowered to explore her options, make her own decisions, and support her in her decision making.
- If she chooses to remain in an abusive relationship, you could express concern for her safety, saying, “I’m worried about your safety.”
But also let her know that you are willing to listen and support her no matter what she decides:
- You could say, “No matter what you decide, I support you, and I’m here for you.”
- Direct her/him to resources that can help with support and safety planning. Such as: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Google: Domestic Violence Counseling
Hope, a woman who lived in an abusive relationship for 23 years also says:
“Find out her needs and meet them. Does she have enough money to care for herself and her children? Would meals or gift cards be helpful? Does she need help finding a job? Would she like help watching her children occasionally? Does she need help with jobs around the house that she doesn’t know how to complete? Be committed to helping her and her children long term. Abuse and its effects do not go away overnight or even soon. It may take several years of caring support for them to heal from the trauma of abuse.”
More on: freeinghope.com
More resources: Abuse/Domestic Abuse Resources