Over the last few weeks, we've been talking about abuse and manipulation in friendships and romantic relationships. It can be a challenge to know how to help a friend who you suspect or know of who is in an abusive relationship. Here are a few pieces of helpful advice:
The main thing is to be there to support them.
Let them know you are there should they want to leave the relationship. You can be a resource to them for outside professional help in helping them to leave the relationship safely. It is ultimately their choice to leave the relationship or not. Yet, you can be a supportive friend in the process.
Leaving can be the most dangerous time.
If you are in an abusive relationship, many times leaving the relationship can be the most
dangerous time due to threats to harm you or those you care about. The abuser may very well carry out their threats, so it is important to get professional and expert help in creating and implementing a safe plan to leave.
There are people out there who can help.
Look for resources, counseling, and support services that are available to help. No one need go through this situation alone.
One important resource is the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-799-7233.