By Sara Smith, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
Many people struggle with how to help a friend or other loved one who is in an unsafe, abusive relationship. Talking to a friend who you are worried about can be daunting. The fear of interfering, being wrong, or possibly driving them away can keep many people from reaching out. If you are concerned for someone’s safety in a relationship, you can turn to many available resources that may help you start the conversation. According to Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (2014), some important things to consider when talking to a friend include the following:
There are some important things to try to avoid when helping a friend. These include the following:
You don’t have to be an expert to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. What’s important is to show them that you’re concerned and deeply care about the happiness and safety of your friend. That is important enough. Be there when they need support, and help them reach out to support systems and resources as they are ready. If they’re not ready to hear you or are not ready to leave, make yourself available to be there when they become ready. Remember to be patient.
Stay calm, arm yourself with knowledge and resources, and good luck in supporting your friend or loved one in becoming another survivor!
Sara Smith is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health and Couple and Family Counseling.