How You Can Help a Victim of Domestic Violence

Posted by on March 1, 2010 in education, Family, Relationships, women | 32 comments

by mraynes

Every month or so I’ll get a call from a friend or acquaintance asking me for information to help a loved one involved in a violent relationship. We all know or will know a victim of domestic violence; the current statistics are one in three women will be abused in some manner during her lifetime. I have two younger sisters and it blows my mind that statistically, one of us will be in an abusive relationship.

Knowing this, it is vital that information on how best to support victims of violence be readily available. I have found, however, that there is a general uneasiness and confusion on how best to do this. In my previous work with victims I gained some very specific knowledge that I thought might be useful to share here. To make things easier, I will use female pronouns since women are more likely to be victims but this information applies equally to men as they can also be victims of domestic violence, too.

So, what to do if you know & love a victim of domestic violence:

First, be a listening and non-judgmental ear. You cannot help your loved one if they don’t trust you.

When or if a victim confides in you about an unhealthy relationship you must first determine the lethality of the situation to determine the best course of action.

If it is not a lethal relationship, meaning there is no current threat of severe bodily harm or death, I think it best to start with domestic violence education. I particularly like the Power & Control Wheel because it covers all the different ways abuse might be present in a relationship. (If you are dealing with a teenage abusive relationship, this version is better suited for their unique needs.) After going through the wheel with the victim I then like to show them the Equality Wheel so they have an idea of what a healthy relationship looks like. (Teen version here.)

At this point there are several choices to be made, all belonging to the victim. Remember, your job is to be a support, any pressure from you will make things worse. Your loved one may choose to stay and work on the relationship. If this is their choice, I would suggest having her attend an outpatient domestic violence support group. There she will receive more domestic violence education and connect with other women in similar situations. Many social service agencies have these kinds of support groups but you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and they can refer you to the appropriate places if you need further help.

If your loved one chooses to leave the abusive relationship, provisions must be made for her physical and emotional support. Despite having worked at a domestic violence shelter, I think it always preferable for victims to be surrounded by family at this difficult time. If your loved one will be living with family, make sure she is enrolled in a support group. If it is not possible for her to live with family then dv shelters are a safe, supportive place to go and they offer wonderful services. Domestic violence shelters will provide food and shelter, support groups and domestic violence education as well as targeted case management to help the victim get back on her feet.  You can get referrals to local domestic violence shelters through the national dv hotline linked to above.

Know that the average woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves for good. Although this will be frustrating to you, try to be as non-judgmental as possible; the dynamics of abuse are very complicated and it is difficult to extricate one’s self from the figurative strangle-hold the abuser has over his victim. Be patient and remember that your loved one needs your support during these time more than ever. Also, please be aware that the most dangerous time for an abuse victim is after they leave the relationship. I strongly recommend having your loved one do a safety plan with a domestic violence advocate and get an Order of Protection if appropriate.

If, when you first speak to a victim, it appears that her situation is very dangerous, the first priority is to get her and any children safe. I would recommend a domestic violence shelter at this point because they are at un-disclosed locations and it will be more difficult for an abuser to find her.

Next, get the victim an Order of Protection. Many shelters will help out with this, they may even have a legal advocate on staff. If not, most superior courts do have legal advocates on staff and they can help victims navigate the complicated legal system for free. I can’t recommend using a lawyer or legal advocate enough; they understand the intricacies of the system and will be able to provide the victim with the most comprehensive Order of Protection possible. As a side note, if you feel like your safety is at risk for helping the victim, you may get an Injunction Against Harassment. While not as powerful as an order of protection, it might give you some peace of mind.

It is the goal of all domestic violence advocates to keep the victim safe and help them start a new, healthy life. Regardless of whether your loved one goes into shelter, I would utilize the services of dv advocates because they can provide your loved one with the most resources to overcome this traumatic experience and come through a survivor.

This post is getting too long but if you’re interested, I would be happy to do a follow-up post on what to do if your loved one gets caught up in the justice system or what you can do to help victims of domestic violence more generally. If you have question, please comment and I’ll do my best to answer. Also, I would love for those of you with experience in this matter to share tips that have worked or not worked so that others can learn from them. Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in our society, it affects all of us in one way or another. Only through education and commitment can we come close to ending this evil.

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32 Comments

  1. Mraynes – thanks for the information!

    I have a friend whom I suspect is in an emotionally manipulative relationship, I don’t know that the relationship has gotten to the point of physical violence, but I’m not really able to be close to the friend anymore. It is an old friend, and the longer she has dated this man, the more she has changed, becoming withdrawn from the world and frightened. I suspect that he is controlling all lines of communication, but again, I can’t be sure.

    Do you have any idea what I can or should do?

  2. Excellent question, Newt! This is a really hard situation because there aren’t a whole lot of proactive steps you can take. My best advice is to prove that you are a safe friend both to your friend and her abuser. You do this by staying in contact with the friend; send an email every couple of weeks, leave a voice-mail every couple of months, send a Christmas card or postcard when you’re on vacation. If you know her family, try contacting them for some innocent reason and then say something like, “I haven’t heard from friend in a while. She is such a fun person. Tell her hi from me sometime.” That message is likely to get through. Be persistent in a non-pushy way but don’t expect an answer back. All of your communication should be very nonchalant, chatty, nothing that could tip the abuser off. You’re probably right that he monitors her email and phone calls so it wouldn’t be safe to link her the power and control wheel. After a while the abuser will stop caring when you contact her and you can slowly build up trust with the friend. Never push her for information, let it come out naturally. If sh does share with you, you can then use the information I gave above. This will take an inordinate amount of patience and tact and your friend may never leave the relationship. You have to be okay with this. Any agenda will be quickly sniffed out, just be a friend in anyway she needs one.

    I had a friend who was in this situation, I didn’t know what to do and so let the friendship dwindle. She eventually got out of the relationship but it is one of the biggest regrets of my life that I wasn’t there for her when she needed my support. Good for you for being a true friend. Thank you for your question. Good luck!

  3. Document every instance of abuse. Take your friend out to lunch and encourage her to call the police and get a protective order. Abused women need legal help.

  4. Thank you for the advice. That is sort of what I have been trying to do, but I had fizzled off for awhile (like you said it takes patience and persistence, which is tough), but I do try to keep in touch when I think of it.

    It is also difficult to remember that we cannot make people do anything, that they have to be the ones to initiate change.

    Thanks again.

  5. Encourage your friend to go to a shelter. Take pictures of every incident of physial abuse. Help her get a restraining order.

  6. If he is controlling, then she is losing perspective and confidence in herself. Try to keep communication going because he may be isolating her. Try to find ways to help her gain confidence in herself. Telling her she isn’t capable of handling her life and that all her decisions are wrong won’t help her (that is what he is doing everytime he controls her). Having a friend who thinks she is worthy of friendship WILL help her. Having a friend who cares about her will help her realize that she deserves to be around people who love and support her. So, be careful of trying to criticize her life and her relationship.

  7. Such important info, mraynes! I’m so glad you wrote this post. I am constantly amazed at how prevalant dv is in the lives of our friends and acquaintances.

    Have you (or any of our readers) ever taught a RS lesson on this? I’d love to see such a lesson being taught on the first or fifth Sunday in wards.

  8. Emily, A branch president and RS pres of mine have both had concerns about this issue and I have heard both teach frank lessons about it, though neither as succinctly as you have here.

    It needs to be repeated every year or so with the turnover in our congregation’s membership, I think.

  9. Mraynes,
    This is a really important issue. My sister is dealing with this right now and I have not been as non-judgemental and supportive as I should be. It’s just incredibly difficult to see her making choices that hurt her now and could paralyze her in the future.

    The worst part is that she thinks God has told her to stay (oh, and that she doesn’t want to leave on a whim, although she married him on one). What do I say to that?

  10. Wonderful comments so far.

    Your tips are great, Carol, Jan. Documenting is vital to a successful legal battle. Encourage your loved one to write down when attacks occur, it would be even better if she contacted the police each time so there is corroborating evidence. Take pictures of any physical marks on the body and of damage done to the home or possessions. All of these things will weigh heavily with a justice system that is based on fact and rationality. I had a client who took documenting to the extreme and received an exceptionally favorable outcome, i.e. she got to keep the house and he went to prison. Not many victims are that forward thinking so its good to have friends who look at the situation objectively and can provide wonderful advice such as this. Thanks for your comments.

    You hit upon the most important thing you can do to help a victim, jks, and that is to be a friend. When all else fails, just knowing that there is someone out there who loves them and supports them can save a victim’s life. Thanks for the reminder.

    Thanks, Emily. I have not been asked to share this information at church for reasons I don’t quite understand. The shelter I worked at in Arizona had a large contingent of Mormons go through it which confirmed to me that domestic violence is a problem in our community. I found in my interactions with bishops at least in Arizona, that they were uncomfortable highlighting what they saw as a family problem and would prefer to deal with individual cases as they arose. When that happened, I would often be contacted to help with resources for the woman and children.

    mb, I’m glad to know that your branch takes this issue very seriously. I’m sure that as our society becomes more aware of domestic violence this will also translate into openness about it at church. Thank you for sharing.

    Jessawhy, I know how hard this whole situation has been for you and all I can say is make sure your sister knows that you love her. Even if you can’t be supportive of her choice, at least she will know that you will be there for her when she does finally choose to leave. And remember, seven times. Each time she leaves, she’s one step closer to being gone for good. The one thing that concerns me is that now she believes God is intervening to keep her in a bad marriage. Do you know whether this is her personal revelation or was it spurred by her husband or the bishop? I ask because abusers will often use God as a way to manipulate their victims into staying and unfortunately, religious leaders often play into this. Good luck with this incredibly hard situation. Please know that I’m here for you.

    • I need helpe now and am christian and my so-cal christian husband is abusing me emotionally for a year now am doing my imagination paperwork don’t have residency yet I have no family here but some friends that I talke with sometimes, church people that are supporting me in prayes hopping that it gose well but am been controlled by him I hate all of these things and tells me that he love me am hurting now. I need also spiritual advise. Thanks in advanced.

  11. One issue that I wish you would talk about is how often the abuse is two way, starts with calling names and throwing things under stress and involves both parties behaving inappropriately. It would be helpful to identify resources for couples who find themselves in this cycle of violence, before it comes to pushing and shoving or worse.

  12. And your wheels assume that the batterer is male, when women batter men too, and there are almost no resources for them and their children.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. I just came out of an abusive relationship. Ironically I have worked with victims in the past and I didn’t recognize myself when I was one. I just started my road to recovery and I had never seen the equality wheel. Thanks for giving me an additional tool .
    Good Bless

  14. Rosemary, you bring up a good point that often unhealthy relationships are a two-way street. An explanation of domestic violence and how it starts was not the focus of this post but certainly it goes without saying that each one of us is responsible for being a healthy contributor to our relationships. I often had women who were in these co-abusive relationships come to my outpatient dv support groups and use the things they learned there to improve their significant relationships. I also know marriage counselors use similar tools to the ones I linked to. As for the assumption of the wheel, yes it is one-sided, I believe for the reason I gave above, the majority of victims are women. However, I believe that this will change as our society begins to acknowledge that men can be and are victims of domestic violence. Because of our gendered assumptions, it is difficult for the experience of male victims to be validated. And you’re right, there are a dearth of resources for male victims and their families. The shelter I worked at in Arizona was the only dv shelter in the state that accepted male clients, all the other resources we had for male victims were horrible. Like I said, I’m hopeful this will change as our society lets go of our gender expectations. Thanks for your comment.

    Writer, I’m glad you were able to get out of your abusive relationship. I don’t think it’s at all uncommon for those who have worked with victims of dv to become victims themselves, I knew several. Anybody can become a victim of domestic violence, usually the abuse starts subtly and by the time you do recognize it, a lot of the damage has been done. Good for you for recognizing the abuse and working hard to overcome it. I’m glad I could provide you another tool to work with. Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck.

  15. So often the courts start up where to violent partner ends up. It took about 5 sever beatings infront of the children before my daughters husband ended up in Jail. and then for only 3 months. It did help break the cycle for her. While she still has some kind of “addiction to him, she has no desire to return to him.

    The next challenge is the court throwing she and the children back under the bus. While at different times he was restricted in his visitations, and those restrictions were put into a court order by child and family services, the last judge order the children to be allowed to go with him. He now abuses them especially my granddaughter, mostly verbally and emotionally like he did in the beginning with my daughter. If her mother tries to talk to him about it, the abuse gets worse for my granddaughter. There have been drunk driving incidents, the children being left alone in a condo in a stange town after their father and girlfriend got high on pot and then went out drinking for the night. the cops would do nothing because it was not enought dope(had to be more than 3 oz) and my granddaughter is now 12 and considered old enough to be alone. She was terrified of what her father would do when he got home a found out she knew about the drugs. she begged the police to take her with no luck. It goes on and on. How can we stop this re-victimazatation? She saw him try and kill her mother on mulitiple occasions and yet the judges force the children back to him.
    check out the extent of the problem at http://www.learningcenter.org and go to a news
    article from the Christian science Montier.
    We will only stop the evil, when we as a society have zero tolerance for the behavior. Allowing repeat offenders to matriculate in society, gives them a repeated sense of power and that is what this is all about
    Where is there some help???

  16. Any tips if you think your loved one will never tell or reach out in any way?

  17. Even though I volunteered for a short time in a battered women’s shelter, I was always of the “well, just leave him” mindset until I read this recently. It changed my whole attitude about women who are in abusive relationships and made me far more invested in being patient, helping as much as possible, and waiting out the storm.

  18. Oh, Peg, that story breaks my heart. And unfortunately, it is not an uncommon story. Our legal system is so ill-equipped to deal with this problem. It is such a tragedy that an institution that is set up to protect the citizens often ends up becoming just as culpable in the abuse of victims. Your story proves the advocates have so much further to go in educating those in the justice system about domestic violence. There is not a lot you can do, especially is the judge is being obstinate but I would recommend getting your granddaughter a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is supposed to objectively look out for the best interests of the child, perhaps a judge will take her/him more seriously? Also, if your granddaughter is 12, she might be old enough to speak with the judge herself about seeing father anymore. If the abuse towards the other children isn’t as serious, there is probably nothing to be done about those visitations. If you haven’t already, I would make a call to child protective services, I would also have your daughter and granddaughter file reports. I know that CPS is scary but if drugs and alcohol are involved, it’s only a matter of time before irreparable damage is done. I am so sorry that your daughter and grandchildren are in this situation. Your family will be in my prayers.

  19. Hi, Kristen. This is a hard situation to know how to handle. Like I’ve said before, often times pushing makes things worse but I do think there are subtle things you can do. If you think your loved one will never reach out it is probably because of deep shame about the abuse she is experiencing. This can be compounded if she belongs to a culture or religion that puts heavy emphasis on remaining in relationships no matter what.

    Here’s what I would do. Contact a local domestic violence prevention agency and ask if they have shoe cards. They may have another name for them but they are basically a credit card sized card with emergency contact info for police, dv shelters, and legal advocates. I would put one of those cards in a book and give it to her. Never mention it unless she does. When she finds the card, she will know that you are a safe person and can easily hide the card to use if she ever needs to. Your loved one might get angry at you but her safety is more important. Ultimately, you have to be the judge of how far you can reach out to this person and if by doing so, you are putting her at risk. It’s a tricky situation. I wish you the best of luck.

  20. Thanks for posting that story, Moriah, it’s very powerful. Domestic violence is complicated, it turn rationality on its head and makes the victim’s life one of merely surviving. It’s for this reason that I’ve recommended patience, any pushing or judgement will come across to the victim as another attack. I’m glad that you found something that has helped in your understanding of victims and I’m sure it will be useful in your future interactions with them. Thanks again for the comment and story.

  21. Thank you mraynes for opening this discussion. It is an important one to have. I hope to keep it in mind in the future.

  22. That post that Moriah linked to kind of brought it back to me. I’m lucky (blessed!) on so many levels. I was able to realize what I was in before it got too damaging to myself or my daughters. I’m learning to deal with the fear for my girls that I have always in the background when they are with him. However, even though I’ve “woken up” and my divorce is final, and I, at least, am more or less free from him, I still look back at those six years and feel delusional. Did those things really happen to me? Was there really not anything more I could have done for him? Was it really the best decision to get out and leave half my daughters’ lives, throwing them to the wolves so to speak, so I could be free?

    I don’t know.

    All I have is painful, raw faith that I’ve done the best I could, and that God will take care of the girls when I can’t.

    People who are on the outside looking in don’t really know if it IS the best thing to leave. Sometimes it isn’t. That is a reality that simply MUST be faced. I still don’t completely know that leaving was the right thing to do. Now I won’t be there when (not if, but when) he loses his cool with one of my girls and terrifies them or injures them. I won’t be there when they need me. That’s a reality I’ve had to deal with.

    I’m sorry, I’m probably rambling, but even though my situation is relatively harmless compared to some, the emotional mechanics of the abuse are still very real. I’ve had to deal with the realization that I will never be free of him until one of us dies, not completely. Even having left him, I’m still his toy in a very real sense. Not as much as otherwise, but still there. He plays with visitation, he plays with scheduling, with the girls’ nutrition, their emotional state . . . anything he can do to control my life. He still slanders me freely to people I have to deal with, and I will always have to deal with that until he either dies, or finds some other woman to torment.

    And yet, he’s not evil. He really is just a scared little boy with a man’s power to harm. I still don’t want to hurt him or strike back. I still don’t want anything but the best for him. Mostly, I just wish he would leave me and the girls alone.

    I don’t know if it’s possible to understand that until you live it.

  23. My friend went through a lot to help her abused friend leave the relationship. Held her hand through it all. Helped her get another job, helped her fill out paperwork, helped her find a place to live, etc. Even I chipped in for the fee to apply to get the “free” lawyer.
    Unfortunately, another man started hanging around. This woman said they were just friends and he “understood that she wasn’t interested in him that way.” Yet he was doing things that just a friend wouldn’t do. You could see it coming. She was finding someone exactly like her ex. Here was a guy who didn’t really care about her opinion, only his. Normal guys take no for an answer.
    You hope for a success story, helping a woman out of an abusive relationship. But these women are sometimes so emotionally damaged they don’t trust themselves and can’t make their own decisions.

  24. Sorry SilverRain & jks, somehow I missed your comments.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, SilverRain. I’m so sorry that you and your children have to face this reality. You’re right, those who have not experienced abuse cannot fully understand the complexity of leaving the relationship and sometimes the best choice is to stay put. It’s hard for those of us on the outside to understand but when you know the reality of what women face when they leave: poverty, sometimes homelessness or unsafe living conditions, drawn out legal battles, increased threats to their life, it is much easier to empathize with such a wrenching decision. Those of us who do not have to make these decision need to suspend our judgement and be as supportive as possible. Each victim does the best they can with the hand they’ve been dealt. I share your faith that God understand this and will be there for those who live this everyday. Your a brave woman, SilverRain,God bless you.

    jks, you articulate a truth that is difficult to deal with. I can’t tell you the number of “success stories” who left our shelter new women and then came back to us a few years later with a new abuser. Abuse is psychically damaging and the first thing to go is self-confidence. Victims often get re-victimized because abusers are very adept at spotting them and it’s easy to break a person whose already been broken. It takes a lot of counseling and resolve not to fall back into old patterns. It also requires support people to be understanding. Thanks for bringing up an important reality.

  25. My daughter started dating a guy she worked with in 2007. My husband and I saw a problem after about 4 months of them being together. She was being verbally abused but refused to end the relationship. She would be crying hysterically on the phone every night but always answered her phone when he called. They moved into an apartment together in January of 2010. My husband and I tolerated him for her sake and were always nice to him despite the way he abused her. They lived about an hour away from us and we saw them once or twice a month. The abuse had begun to escalate after moving in together but our daughter didn’t tell us that it had become physical. In April she called her sister and told her she had locked herself in the bathroom and she was scared. He broke down the bathroom door and took her cell phone and broke it. He then dragged her to the living room and held her down while covering her nose and mouth until she nearly passed out whispering to her how he could just snap her neck. He took her keys from her pocket and removed the key to the apartment and then threw her keys out the door. When she went to get the keys he locked her out. She went down the street to a pay phone to call the police . She didn’t tell them what had happened, she just wanted them to make him let her back in to get some of her things. The police spoke to her outside and then went inside to speak to him. He thought she had told them of the abuse and before letting them in he hit himself in the eye with a glass vase and told them she did it. When she heard him tell the police she had hit him she could not believe it. She then showed them the bruises she had on her arms from him holding her down and told them she did not hit him. They couldn’t see the bruises outside in the dark very well but could see a mark by his eye very well inside the apartment so they arrested her for domestic violence. We bailed her out and moved her out of the apartment that weekend. He was shocked when he found out that she had only called the police so she could get her things and had not told them of the abuse. He felt bad and continued to call her and manipulate her to trust him again by professing his love for her. In July she was at the apartment with him and he got angry over something and called the police and told them she was there and got her arrested for violating the restraining order that the court had issued after the dv incident.
    We were angry but we bailed her out again. She told us she was done with him but we had our doubts. She lost her job and moved back home just before Thanksgiving. She got a job just before Christmas and was getting caught back up. We figured out she was seeing and talking to him again even though she denied it. Last week she got stopped for a traffic violation and was arrested for a warrant issued in November in the county where he lives. She has been sitting in jail in the county where we live for a week awaiting extradition and cannot be bonded out. The only thing she has been told is that it is regarding a harrassing phone call he said she made in November. I have her phone and over the weekend he sent several text messages and tried to call dozens of times not realizing she was in jail. The text messages ranged from him begging her to call him or answer his calls to threatening her and saying nasty things about her then back to how much he loves her. He finally was notified of her whereabouts on Monday and stopped calling and texting. I feel so bad for her because she is the victim but may end up looking like the abuser in court and he won’t stop. She has done nothing to him but try make him happy and I’m afraid that will hurt her case because she continued to let him manipulate her. People who know her can’t believe what she has been through and how it may look to people who don’t know what a loving, giving person she is. It hurts me to see her so sad and betrayed by him after all she has been through. I thank you for letting me get this off my chest because I don’t really have a shoulder to cry on. Please pray for justice for her as I do. Her name is Jennifer. Thanks again. Cheryl

  26. Thanks for the information Mraynes it will be helpful. I’m not sure if you’re still monitoring comments anymore but I’m desperate for getting help for a friend.

    The friend in question has been going out with a guy for over a year now and its only recently that I’ve found out that she has taken a lot of physical abuse during this relationship. We used to be very close and once she started seeing him we saw each other less and less due to him being controlling. She told me recently that he used to be very violent towards her around autumn 2010 and then he stopped because she threatened to break up with him. There was another violent incident a couple of weeks back and now I’m terrified that she will fall back into a violent relationship. The more worrying thing is that she seems to blame herself for his actions due to a lowered self esteem from the relationship. I confronted her about this before reading the information on this page and I may have just made the problem worse by getting angry. Any advice you could give about getting her to allow me to help her and any ways that she could go about getting help would be appreciated.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Hi, Callum. I’m so sorry about your friend, I know how painful it is to see someone you love go through this. The first thing I would tell you is not to beat yourself up for getting angry at this situation, it’s a perfectly natural reaction born from genuine concern for your friend. You will want to make clear to your friend that you love, support and are there for her no matter what. You can only help her if she trusts that you will be there for her when she needs you. Unfortunately, the actions and feelings of your friend that you describe are completely typical and probably won’t change until she leaves. In the end, your friend must make the decision to leave the relationship and she won’t do this until she is ready.

      In the mean time, I would call your local domestic violence organization and see if they have what’s called a shoe card. It’s just a small, business card-sized card that has local numbers she can call if/when she needs them. These are nice because they are easy to hide from the abuser. I would give this to her and let her know that she can call you day or night. She might withdraw from you for awhile but when she’s ready she will know that you are a safe person to turn to. It takes a lot of patience but the service you can provide your friend is vital. Good luck!

      • Thanks a lot for getting back to me so fast and thanks again for the useful information :)

  27. This is all really good information. For me, books on abuse helped a ton. My friend bought me the book, Time to Break Free by Judith Smith. It is 100 meditations for the first 100 days after leaving an abusive relationship.

    I was angry that he gave it to me, and really scared, and the book helped me to see that there were other people who felt the same way I did. And I could do it on my own time. And on my own terms.

    Also, I would add that if a person says they are being abused, and they want out, help them get out. I talked to a couple of bishops who’s priority was to protect the marriage. They told me to stay. The excuse one gave (years later when I went back and asked him WHY he would say that), was that he didn’t know if I was pushing my husband to beat me.

    EVEN IF I WAS PUSHING HIM TO BEAT ME, do BOTH people a favor, and get the hell out! Even if it was really ME that was abusing him, get out and THEN try to sort that out. (Not that you can make the decision for the person, but I would have left years earlier if there had been anyone to support me.)

    Thank you for writing on this.

  28. Thank you so much for this posting. My Aunt is going through something similar and thinks that she can change her abuser and that she is following her heart to help him, even though he nearly killed her. It is difficult for my family and I to see this and we are terrified for her, we are telling her we love her and we are here for her. My main question now is that I know this has been the line of thinking for a while for helping people in abusive situations (offer support and love but hold back on advice) but it doesn’t appear to be working. If it did work, why do so many people end up going back to their abuser or get into another abusive relationship? Why do so many victims end up dead at the hands of their abuser? There has to be something more that can be done. Is there a way to get to the “root” of the problem and help her deal with that? Is there a way to help bring joy and a positive meaning back into her life? It appears that the “back off and wait for them to be ready to leave” doesn’t always work. Please share your thoughts. I am doing all the research I can to learn about DV and how to help. Thank you.

  29. Hi there colleagues, its fantastic piece of writing about educationand fully explained, keep it up all the time.

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  1. Episdoe 15: Domestic Violence | The Official fMh Podcast - [...] Meghan’s advice on how to help a victim. [...]

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