Supporting Someone Who Keeps Returning - The Hotline
How can you support someone in an emotionally abusive relationship? Read the do's and don'ts of supporting someone who is being emotionally abused. If you think that a friend or someone you know is in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, it can be difficult to know what to do. You may want to help, but be. An abuse victim may become isolated over time, and you can help by inviting them out. Go out together, or invite them to a.
Everyone deserves a healthy, non-violent relationship.
Focus on your friend or family member, not the abusive partner. Connect your friend to resources in their community that can give them information and guidance. Help them develop a safety plan. If they break up with the abusive partner, continue to be supportive after the relationship is over.
But My Friend is the Abuser! It is difficult to see someone you care about hurt others.
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Ultimately, the abuser is the only person who can decide to change, but there are things you can do to encourage them to engage in healthier behaviors. They may benefit from having control over their partner and may turn to you to help justify the abuse.
Do not support the abuse in any way. Learn the warning signs of abuse so you can help your friend or family member recognize their unhealthy or abusive behaviors. Your friend may try to blame the victim for the abuse. Your silence helps the abusive person deny that their behavior is wrong. An abuser choosing to seek professional help can be an important step for them to take in working toward change.
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If you feel completely safe doing so, suggesting that they consider this option could be another way to support them in changing. Chat with a peer advocate for help.
An abusive partner knows that if they can keep their partner second guessing themselves, they will be less likely to feel empowered to take steps towards leaving.
These are just a few of the complications that victims may face when considering ending an abusive relationship. For more information about domestic violence, you can always contact your local domestic violence program or The Hotline to speak with a trained, knowledgeable advocate. Is there anything you want to talk about? Try not to judge them, and instead remain open and supportive. Listen and Support Their Decisions People in abusive relationships often feel like they have little control over their lives.
Their abusive partners have taken control, and they may be dependent on them in multiple ways. So, it can be really beneficial to model healthy behaviors for your friend or family member. Let them know you believe they are the best person to make the decision that feels right to them at that time.
Supporting Someone Who Keeps Returning to an Abusive Relationship
This will place power back in their hands! For example, you might encourage them to contact The Hotline or speak with a counselor. Encourage them to practice self-care in whatever ways work best for them.
You could also help them create a safety plan that supports their needs in that moment, whatever their situation might be. Additionally, it can help to identify resources that are uniquely qualified to help, for example, if your friend is a teen or LGBTQ.
Check out our list of recommended resources here. Practice Self-Care Secondary trauma is real and very common.