While we all want our loved ones to be happy, the reality is that many people are in abusive relationships. Often, these people are so good at hiding it that those in their life may not even know that they are in an abusive relationship.
However, if you do end up finding out that someone you know is in an abusive relationship, your first instinct will likely be to help them.
Keep in mind that this is a very sensitive topic, so you need to be very careful of how you approach the situation. If you need some tips on helping someone who is struggling with this, this post is here to help.
Help them take legal action
Many people who are in abusive relationships want to file a case at the police station, but they are too scared or overwhelmed to do so.
Therefore, you should consider helping them with the process in whatever way you can. You should also consider helping them to take other legal action to protect them – such as getting a restraining order – or simply to ensure that the abuser faces the consequences of their actions.
You might want to help them find a lawyer to help. Keep in mind that, in many cases like these, the abuser may retaliate by also filing domestic abuse claims, so in this case, you should get a domestic violence lawyer.
Get them to a doctor
There are many forms of abuse, and they all leave their own scars and wounds. Often, these aren’t visible because they aren’t physical – they are mental wounds that develop as a result of the abuse.
But, very often, people in abusive relationships do also face physical abuse, and they often don’t get treated for their injuries because they don’t want anyone to find out that they are being abused.
Therefore, if you know someone who has been abused, it’s a good idea to take them to see a doctor so that they can get their injuries treated. Having someone there for moral support may make them more likely to actually accept the treatment they need.
Help them to get professional help
As much as you will want to help, and as much as your support will be greatly beneficial to the person who was abused, you need to understand that you probably don’t have the knowledge needed to help them cope with the full scope of their trauma.
Therefore, one of the best things that you can do is to encourage them to get professional help by visiting a therapist.
However, people who have been abused are often scared of leaving their homes, so you may need to look into alternative options like online therapy, so that they can get the help they need without having to face anything that they aren’t ready for.
Help them get back on their feet
Abusers often control every aspect of the person they are abusing’s life, which means that the person who has been abused won’t just be losing their relationship with the abuser, but also lots of other things in their life, such as their house, income, and more.
Therefore, it can be very hard for them to find their feet, which means you can try to assist with this. If you can and want to, you can always offer to financially contribute to their expenses, or you can simply help them out by buying some new clothes or groceries if they have had to leave everything behind.
You can also help them with tasks like finding a new job. Ultimately, there is no obligation on you to do anything, but you should try to help where you can if you feel that it’s something you want to do.
People who have recently left abusive relationships will be dealing with a lot of emotions, and you need to try to be supportive as much as possible.
This means listening to their story, helping to keep them busy when they start spiraling, or simply being a shoulder to cry on. Of course, everyone is different, so while some people may crave comfort and companionship during hard times, others may prefer to be left alone.
Be sure to openly communicate with them to find out what they need and what you can do to help them, instead of just doing what you feel is right. If you need some more tips on being a supportive friend, click here.
Don’t judge them
It’s easy for people to judge others when they haven’t been in that situation themselves. You may wonder why someone was too scared to leave their abuser, or how they could love someone who hurts them.
But you are not in a position to judge. If someone has been abused, it means that they have been through a lot and have suffered a lot of trauma, so there’s no need to burden them even more with your judgment.
Offer them a place to stay
Of course, not everyone is in the position to offer someone a place to stay, and even if you are, it may feel uncomfortable to do so if you aren’t very close to the person.
That being said, one of the most important things that they need to do is to get away from their abuser, and this often means leaving their homes. So, if they are someone you’re very close to, you should consider offering up your spare bedroom until they are back on their feet.
If you can’t do this, you can always help them find a place to stay by going apartment hunting with them or having them look into safe shelters.
It can be tricky knowing how to help someone in an abusive relationship, and the reality is that no two cases are the same.
You will need to figure out what they need, and what you can do. You don’t have to do every single thing on this list to help someone – simply do what you can. Remember that helping someone in this type of situation can also affect your mental state, so be sure to take care of yourself as well.