Domestic violence is a very serious problem in the United States. Statistics show that 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. If you suspect that a friend or family member is being abused, it is up to you to intervene. If you don’t do something early enough, your loved one could be severely injured or possibly killed. When it comes to domestic violence, there are a few ways that you should handle it.
Look for the Signs
Most victims of domestic violence don’t want to admit that there is anything wrong with the relationship. Even though it is not the victim’s fault, they often take the blame. Many victims are too embarrassed to admit that they are being victimized. Finally, many victims still love their abusers and they don’t want people to think poorly about them. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, you should look for the signs.
- Becoming isolated from family and friends
- Being sad or withdrawn
- Mysterious bruises on their body
- Nervousness and jumpiness when their partner is around.
Ask Questions Without Berating
If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, you should ask them straight out. If they don’t admit it, you should press them without berating them. Let them know the reasons that you suspect that there is abuse. If you have recognized the signs, let your loved one know. In many cases, they will see that they are not hiding it as well as they thought they were and they will come clean.
Help Them Create a Safety Plan
If your loved one is willing to admit to you that they are being abused, it doesn’t mean that they will be ready to leave the relationship. If this is the case, it is up to you to help keep them as safe as possible. You should help your loved one come up with an emergency plan if their partner hits them. This means coming up with a place for them to go where they can be safe. When they leave, they are going to need to get away as quickly as possible and be away for a few days. It is a good idea for your loved one to pack a safety bag. It should include a few days worth of clothing and medication. If they have children, make sure that the victim has packed clothing and toys for them as well. If they feel safe, they can hide the bag in the trunk of the car. If the victim is worried that their partner will discover the bag, you can keep it at your house so that their partner won’t find it.
Encourage Them To Get Help
As mentioned above, most victims of domestic violence don’t want to go to the police. They worry about getting their partner into trouble, even though they are being abused. If you cannot get your loved one to go to the police, you should talk them into getting counseling. Many people who are victims of domestic abuse suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can cause panic attacks, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and insomnia. Your loved one will need the help of a mental health professional to treat the PDSD. Also, the therapist might be able to get your loved one to understand that it is not their fault and they need to report the violence to the police.
If you believe that someone you love is being abused, it is up to you to be there for them. You could be the one to save their life.