By Allison Crowe, See the Triumph Co-Founder
For this month’s “How to help a Friend” series, I thought I’d put together a few simple but important ideas for how to support a friend who is experiencing IPV. Most of the information I found is from www.womenshealth.gov, which is a great website for those looking for this and related information. Below are just 5 of their tips. Please share with others so that we can all feel prepared to help a friend who is struggling.
1. Find a private, uninterrupted time to tell your friend that you are concerned.
2. Be honest about how you are feeling (worried, concerned, etc.) and that you want to help.
3. If your friend discloses that they are experiencing abuse, remember it might be very difficult for them to be saying this. Listen supportively, assuring your friend that you and others are here to support.
4. Provide your friend with specific ways that you are willing to assist (drive them to a local agency, offer for them to stay with you, etc.
5. Continue to support your friend, regardless of their decision to stay or leave the relationship. Although it might be difficult to understand, your friend might not be ready to leave yet. Offer your friendship in either scenario since it must be your friend’s decision to leave the relationship.
Other resources on www.womenshealth.gov include how to help a coworker who is experiencing abuse, common reactions after abuse and trauma, and more on talking about abuse. For all of you out there who might have a friend you are concerned about, I encourage you to support her or him by considering these suggestions. Every little bit counts!