If you have a friend or a neighbour who is being abused by the person with whom she is in an intimate relationship with, here are a few ways in which you can support her. Initially, the thought of supporting a woman who is in an abusive relationship may seem counterintuitive. You, like me, may be thinking, “support her in this relationship? I do not want to do that, I want her to get out from this relationship. If I support her, this will only encourage her to remain in it and that’s no good.” However, by supporting her, this may give her the additional strength she may need to leave this abusive relationship. Therefore, with this in mind, a few ways in which you can help her is by talking with her about the abuse, calling the police in an emergency and by allowing your home to be a safe place for her and her children in times of need.
Talk with her about the Abuse
Try talking with her about the abuse. Many women try to hide the fact that they are being abused by the person with whom they are in an intimate relationship with. So, talking with a friend or a neighbour who is in such a relationship may be a bit of a challenge. She may deny the abuse and if and when she acknowledges it to you, she may not want to talk about it. Therefore, being patience and letting her know that you are there to listen and not to condemn her, will be helpful at this point and at the right time, you can also offer her some sound advice.
Additionally, her abuser might have already isolated her or may be in the process of isolating her from close family and friends, so, making sure that she knows that you are there for her, will be a source of strength for her. Do not just jump on the isolation boat because she would not leave the relationship or because she would not talk about the abuse. Be patience and when she is ready to talk, she will talk with you about the abuse.
Call the Police in an Emergency
Call the police in a case of emergency for the protection of everyone involved. When I was a child, concerning abuse in an intimate relationship, I heard, “this is between the two of them, it’s none of your business. Keep out of it.” When I became an adult, I heard the same thing but you know what? What, you may ask? Well, it’s not just between the two of them, in many countries, unfortunately, not in all countries, it is also between them and the law. In many countries, domestic abuse is illegal so, as a friend, or a concerned neighbour, calling the police during a domestic abuse emergency, will be well warranted. However, in countries where domestic abuse is not illegal, countries such as Armenia, Egypt and Pakistan, calling the police is still the best course of action.
I know that at times friends and neighbours may not want to call the police because they are afraid of incurring the wrath of both the abuser and the victim, or, they do not think that it will be helpful because the victim continues in the relationship and these concerns are very valid. Nevertheless, if there is an emergency situation, such as the presence of a weapon, professional help is needed, therefore, help by calling the cops.
Your Home as a Safe Place
Another way in which you can support a woman who is being abused is by allowing your home to be a safe haven for her and her children. Our homes should be our safe haven. It should be the physical place to which we can run to when the sun, snow, rain, wind and whatever else is beating down on our heads but sadly, this is not the case for an abused woman. The sun, snow, rain, wind and everything else, is found in her home and while there may be moments of happiness in it, safety is not found there. Therefore, she needs a place where she can turn to, even if it is just for a few hours.
Let me tell you a story. There was once a woman who lived in an apartment with her partner and their neighbours knew about the abuse that took place behind their door. One day, her partner physically assaulted her, ripped the clothes off of her body and pushed her naked, out of the apartment and locked the door. She quietly pleaded with him to let her back into the apartment but he refused. She pleaded with him to give her some clothing but this was met with verbal abuse and no clothing.
An elderly woman, who had moved into the apartment complex about a month before was living four doors down from these neighbours. She heard what was going on and she could also hear a few neighbours opening and quickly close their doors. The old woman struggled to her arthritic feet, opened her linen closet and pulled out a blanket. She peeped out her door and saw the woman sitting next to her apartment door with her arms wrapped around her body. The old woman went to her and offered her the blanket. The woman was taken aback by this act and fresh tears rushed out of her eyes as she said, thank you.
The old woman said, “Do you want to stay in my home until he calms down?”
The woman was also surprised by this offer and she accepted it. Inside the house, she sat in a chair and cried herself to sleep. When she awoke about two hours later, she thanked the old woman for her kindness, promised to return the blanket, and she left the apartment.
About three months later, the old woman received a parcel and when she opened it, it contained the blanket she had offered to her neighbour and a thank you card. Written in pen, the card said, “I can not explain it but your kindness in offering me a blanket and your home somehow give me the strength that I needed to leave. Thank you.”
Let me quickly add that this may not always be the result when you offer your home as a safe place for an abused woman, however, you cannot always tell what the outcome will be until it occurs.
Let me also address the fact that you may be concern that if you offer your home as a safe haven to the victim, the abuser may come to your home and cause a disturbance. Of course, you do not want your household to be put into jeopardy, so, before offering to help, make sure that your household members are in agreement with helping her and work out a plan that will ensure that everyone, which includes the victim and her children are safe whenever they are under your roof.
Yes, talking with an abused woman about the abuse, calling the police in an emergency and by allowing your home to be a safe place for her and her children are a few ways in which you can help an abused woman.
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Angela_M._Linton/60532