For those who are experiencing or know someone who is in an abusive situation, this article will be all too real. What many people may not understand, is that it can be easier said than done, to resolve or leave a complex situation such as domestic abuse. Some people are born fighters – they don’t let themselves be taken advantage of or mistreated, even by their loved ones. However, there are those who choose to stay. They choose to wait and hope for change. There are also those who don’t even have these options.
Before we move forward, we need to understand that people are unique. Everybody handles difficult situations differently. We all have contrasting coping mechanisms. Getting help from domestic violence hotlines or personal injury lawyers is one thing. But living your life after the abuse is another. Here are some things to do when you are or you know somebody who is in an abusive situation.
- Don’t blame the victim for lack of action. The victim is already tormented and traumatised. Adding insult to injury is not useful or helpful. You can however, gently talk to them about getting in touch with a domestic violence team or a personal injury lawyer.
- Be patient and offer your support. Observe which areas you can help or support the victim. Is the victim realising their situation and wanting to move out? You might want to offer a place for them to stay. Or perhaps, some cash that they can use once they moved out -to help them get back on their feet.
- Recommend taking action. Sometimes victims just need a little nudge in the right direction. You can recommend talking to a domestic violence team and a personal injury compensation expert.
- Trust the victim to do the right thing. Sometimes domestic violence becomes a cycle – the victim moves out and comes back to the abuser. At the end of the day, it’s always up to the victim to decide. Be supportive until such a time that they can finally leave the abuser.
- Never try confronting the abuser. Perhaps you mean well and seriously want to help your friend or family member to the point that you may want to confront the abuser. Don’t. You’re putting the victim’s life in danger. The abuser might even isolate the victim from her family and friends.
Keep in mind that abuse is not only limited to physical. It can take a variety of forms, such as emotional and verbal abuse. Domestic violence include manipulation, neglect, coercion, financial control, psychological degradation, and more. The victim undergoes several phases before finally realising their situation. Sometimes they go through denial, uncertainty, and self pity. It’s important for them to be surrounded by familiar people who love and support them.
If you are a friend of the victim, take the necessary precautions. Remain supportive while being part of the solution. Don’t take matters into your own hands, as this might only aggravate the situation. Once the victim has come into their senses and can finally take the next step, help them transition smoothly. In cases of physical abuse, you might need to consult with a personal injury settlement expert to understand the victim’s rights.