It is hard for us to watch our loved ones suffer, much more if it’s in the hands of someone we also trust. Many people live through abusive relationships, not knowing why, how, or when, to get out of them. This leaves us, the people who genuinely care for them, feeling guilty, angry, and confused.
If you can convince your friend or loved one to leave the relationship, you need to contact an assault lawyer in Kent or in the area where you live so that you can get legal advice on the steps to be taken to ensure your friend’s safety. Can you charge the abusive person with a case that will make them legally impossible to go near your friend? Will the charges stick even if there are no current physical marks on your friend? Will your testimony stand?
When abusive relationships start to crumble at the decision of the abused to leave their partners, most of them always go through legal proceedings. This is probably the only way for the abuser to stop stalking, hounding, and terrifying their abused partners. But as a friend, what can you do when someone you love, whether a friend or a family member, is repeatedly being abused?
Tell Them You Are Worried About Their Safety
Abused people feel isolated. This is how their abusers want them to feel—that nobody cares for them and that they, the abusers, are the only people who are there for them. This is the first thing you need to let your friend know. Tell them that you are there for them and that you are concerned about their safety. More than anything else, they need to know that someone cares for them and is worried about their well-being.
Don’t Make Decisions for Them
How satisfying would it be to see a friend leave an abusive relationship. But you cannot force them to do so. If they decide to stay in the relationship, you have to respect that. Keep an eye out for them, but support their decision because the last thing they need is someone judging and controlling them. Ask them what they want to do with their situation and let them make the decision for themselves. You cannot control them.
Make a Safety Plan
Most abused men and women know what is being done to them. They know that at one point in the future they will need to leave the relationship because their lives will be in so much danger. Open up to them about the possibility of making a safety plan. Set up a place where you can meet if they decide to leave the relationship. There should also be a safety word they can text you with so that you will know that they are in danger.
There are many reasons why people decide to stay in an abusive relationship. The reasons may baffle you, but your friend needs you to stay and be a friend even if it hurts to see them in that situation. If your friend does not like to leave the relationship, the least you can do for them is to be there and listen. Also, give them all the hotline numbers of agencies they can ask help from such as the police, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.