Abusive relationships can be complicated. When one suspects a friend is suffering from domestic violence at the hands of their significant other, it can be hard to know what actions one should take.
It’s not often their place to intervene in a friend’s relationship, but there are multiple ways one can address their concerns.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
How friends can step in
For those who know a victim of relationship abuse, this is how they can be proactive without getting in the middle:
- Engage in positive conversation: When discussing a sensitive topic like relationship abuse, it is best to make the friend feel safe and free from judgment.
- Address unhealthy behaviors: Addressing concern is important, but the friend may shut down if they hear their relationship labeled as abusive. Instead, ask the friend about their partner’s behavior and how it makes them feel.
- Avoid placing blame on the friend: The abuse is never the victim’s fault. In many cases, they feel personally responsible for their partner’s actions. Because of this, it is best to assure them they have done nothing wrong and that the treatment they receive from their partner is unacceptable.
- Offer support: The victim has the right to decide how and when to talk about the relationship. Remind them they are not alone and that they have allies when they need them.
- Assist them in seeking help: Depending on how ready the friend is to take action, they may need help in seeking counseling, legal action or even medical treatment.
Abuse victims deserve representation
Victims of domestic violence often feel their partner has taken control of their life and have little opportunity to escape. For those who have suffered domestic violence, an experienced attorney in New Jersey can represent victims in court and help them file a restraining order.