Supporting a friend or family member who you know is going through abusive relationship dynamics can be difficult in a multitude of different ways. It's important to know what is overstepping your boundaries, how your words are making the victim of the situation feel and where the line is drawn between advice and forced thoughts.
How to support somebody in an abusive relationship:
- Offer an emergency plan
- Offer to ease stress by helping when needed
It's important to not make the struggling individual feel as if you are taking control of the situation, as that may be a similar dynamic to what they are going through at home, and can lead to a loss of trust or feeling of isolation. Your goal is to be as supportive as possible, aiding to clear the mind of the individual and allow them to make their own decisions, rather than forcing decisions to be made for them.
How not to support somebody in an abusive relationship:
Little things can go along way, offering to take care of their kids or pets for a night or two can be a tremendous help in clearing the person you are trying to support of any external influences.
When the time is right and the victim is ready to act, it's important that they feel somebody is with them along the way.
Written by Jaidan Ammar