Finding out that your friend has been injured by their spouse can be upsetting. You may want to help them, but they may have asked you not to disclose the matter to anybody, including the police. This is because victims often try to protect their abusers.
If you want to help your friend, the best thing you can do is create a safe space for them. You will want to become the person they share everything with. If you suspect the condition is getting worse with each passing day, consult a Sandy domestic violence lawyer to understand how you can help your friend.
Tips to help a friend who is a victim of domestic violence
- Be aware of the warning signs.
The first step to helping your friend is to recognize the signs of abuse. No two cases of abuse are alike, and every case looks different. This is why it is important to learn about the red flags so you can recognize them when they are in front of you. These are some of the red flags:
- Your friend keeps receiving calls and texts from their spouse every time they are out with you.
- Their mood and behavior change after getting the texts.
- It is not easy to get in touch with them.
- They seem on edge.
- Their partner frequently blames them during fights and arguments.
- Let them know that you are there for them.
Tell your friend that you are there for them no matter what they decide to do. Victims do not share their feelings or that they wish for a divorce because they think other people will judge them. Therefore, it is important that you be a non-judgemental, reliable, and supportive friend to them. Remember that it is more about showing than telling. When you make a promise, make sure you keep it.
- Keep the conversation friendly rather than turning it into a lecture.
When your friend comes to talk to you about their struggles, they do not want to be lectured. They know they are in a bad relationship and that they should leave the house. It can be easy to suggest solutions but implementing them is just as hard. One way to make them feel good is to normalize the situation.
Tell them they are not alone and that there are many people like her with the same struggles. Then proceed to tell them that there are options to leave. You may also talk about your own experiences to help them relate to you. However, be careful not to make the conversation about you and focus on your friend’s situation.