If you know someone who is a victim of domestic abuse, you might feel clueless about how to help them. Don’t let the fear of saying something wrong prevent you from reaching out. If you are waiting for the perfect words then it can keep you from seizing the opportunity to change someone’s life.
The world for many domestic abuse victims can be lonely and filled with fear. You should make an effort and make a difference in their life however you can.
Here are some tips that you can follow to help support someone in this vulnerable condition.
The victim of domestic abuse may be disturbed enough to talk about what they are suffering from. You can start the subject of domestic violence by saying that you have noticed some changes in them. Maybe you have seen the person wearing clothes to cover up the bruises or noticed that the person has become usually quiet.
Do not try to force the person to open up and let the conversation start at a comfortable pace. Make sure you let the person know that you will be discreet about any information disclosed. Let the person know that you are always available and offer a sympathetic ear.
When the person finally decides to talk, listen to the story without being judgemental or suggesting solutions. If you listen to them actively then the person might tell you what they need. Just give the victim a chance to explain comfortably about the issue.
You can add clarifying questions in between but mainly allow the person to vent their feelings and fear. You might be the first person that the victim has shared the struggles with.
Many victims try to cover up the abuse for many reasons and one of them includes fear of the abuser. If you can spot the warning signs of domestic abuse then you can help them out.
Here are some physical and emotional signs that you can look out for:
- Black eyes
- Bruises on arms
- Sprained wrists
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Talking about suicide
- Symptoms of depression
Domestic violence is more about control than anger and often the victim is the only one who sees the dark side of the perpetrator. Some people are shocked to hear that a person they know could commit violence. So victims often feel that no one would believe them if they told the people around them about the violence.
When someone finally listens to their struggles, it can bring a sense of relief and hope. You need to reassure the victim that what is happening to them is not their fault and that you believe them.
If you know the violence is actively occurring, call the police immediately. Ask the victim to cooperate with the investigation and don’t fear the abuser. Ask the person to hire an experienced domestic violence attorney to help win the case and receive the compensation that the victim deserves.