Often, we may find it hard to figure out if someone is undergoing domestic violence. This is due to the fact that victims who face domestic violence are scared to share it out into the open and seek help. At the same time, you’ll also find a trusted friend, family member or colleague confiding in you if they are in fact victims of such abusive violence and are unable to get out of it. Regardless, it is our duty to carefully help them out in such a situation.
In order to do so, we need to first understand the different ways we help offer the victims a helping hand. Keep reading this article as we list down five different yet effective ways that you help domestic violence victims.
Be a listener, not a speaker
As humans, we sometimes end up being horrible listeners and excellent speakers. This a mistake we cannot afford to make with domestic violence victims. To help such victims out, one first needs to listen to them with open ears and zero judgement. During the time they share their story is most certainly not the time for your advice or suggestions of solutions. Give them the floor to vent to their heart’s content and do not risk letting them draw back in secrecy for they will only suffer more.
Come up with a safety plan
Whether the victim is or isn’t finding a way out of the abusive relationship, as people who are aware of what’s going on behind their closed doors, it is our duty to help form a safety plan for them so as to save them from the domestic violence they’re undergoing. Be it involving more people you trust, reaching out to a hotline for help or even providing financial assistance for domestic violence victims, there is so much we can contribute towards their freedom from such a relationship.
Keep an eye out for warning signs
It is important for anyone and everyone to have a basic knowledge on the warning signs of domestic abuse. This is applicable for not just physical abuse but rather for emotional too. The warning signs for the former are sprained wrists, bruises across cheeks, arms and necks, black eyes, etc. Whereas the warning signs for the latter includes victims being on the edge, fearful, suicidal, anxious and more. You can also make not of any unusual change in behaviors.
Learn to validate their feelings
Some of the most common feelings of confliction victims go through in regards to their abusive partner are between guilt, despair, hope, fear, love and anger. It is absolutely normal and valid for them to feel this way and it is your duty to ensure they’re aware of this. However, you’re also supposed to make them understand that going through aggressive forms of abuse is never okay and whilst they have every right to go through a cycle of emotions, it is also important to make a stance and take a stand.
Remember, the victims aren’t in need of pity, they’re in need of your trust and assistance.