While you can never truly know what goes on inside someone else’s relationship, there may come a time when you fear that one of your friends or loved ones might be stuck in a bad situation. And although bringing this topic up to someone might seem awkward and uncomfortable, sometimes it takes knowing that another person really cares about you and your happiness to see just how bad things have gotten within a relationship.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re afraid for the health and safety of your friend in a toxic relationship, here are three ways you can help that friend when he or she is a victim of domestic abuse.
Know The Warning Signs
Before you sit down with your friend to talk about the potential of them being in an abusive relationship, it’s wise to first know some of the most common warning signs that something unsettling is going on in their domestic life.
According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, some of the most obvious signs that domestic abuse is taking place include verbal put downs in front of others, anxiety about making their partner angry, making excuses for their partners’ bad behavior, injuries that are left unexplained, and spending less and less time with friends or family members.
If you notice one or more of the above signs, it could mean that your friend is being abused and might need help from you.
Listen And Respond Without Judgement
When speaking with your friend about any abuse that might be taking place within their relationship, it’s important that you’re able to listen to what they’re saying without placing judgement on them or the situation.
While it might be hard for you to understand how or why your friend is staying in this relationship, WomensHealth.gov advises that you do your best not to blame, shame, or guilt your friend when they open up to you about this tough topic. When you do respond, simply express that you recognize that this is a difficult situation to be in.
Be Specific With Your Offers To Help
If your friend seems like he or she is willing to make a change and accept some help from you to get out of their present situation, Buddy T, a contributor to Very Well Mind, suggests that you offer specific forms of help. This could include things like setting up an appointment with a lawyer, counselor, or social service worker to get them help or offering to put them up at a home or hotel so they don’t have to go back to their abusive relationship.
If you have a friend that you fear is the victim of domestic abuse, consider using the tips mentioned above to know how you can help in this type of situation.