Dealing with domestic violence is very complex and quite often it is difficult to understand why the person cannot simply leave the relationship. The answer is not as obvious as you might think and it is important to be caring, understanding and patient if you want to help someone leave an abusive relationship. In order to avoid the person you want to help becoming withdrawn, you should always understand and accept their pace. To help you better help him/her, here are some elements that can facilitate your understanding of the situation Plan AID:
Accommodate their pace
Inform them about their rights
Do not judge them
To help a person, it is necessary? To understand their situation. To understand a person experiencing domestic violence, here are some useful elements:
The best way to help is to show that you are available. It is essential that they know they can count on you in an emergency. Don’t give up and don’t be discouraged, because you never know when the person will have a trigger and decide to leave the abusive relationship. You must then reassure them that you are available whatever their present or future decisions. To do this, you must avoid asking unnecessary questions or questions that give the impression of intrusion or interference. But you should also avoid acting as if nothing had happened. The middle ground is the way to go! This gives the person a sense of understanding, support and protection. You can ask the person exactly what they want from you and work out a contingency plan with them if necessary and in case of emergency. Agree with them who to contact and when, and help them to record potential evidence and find available and appropriate resources for their situation. Remember to be as discreet as possible. Sophia can help your friend, colleague, or loved one find help:
1. Click on the Sophia picture on the bottom right corner of this website.
2. Type “help”
3. Type the country that you are in and Sophia will show you the nearest help available.
Informing the person about their rights without forcing them to make a choice requires a lot of tact. But hearing from people you trust that you deserve better and that you are entitled to respect and dignity can be a determining factor in deciding to leave the abusive relationship.
If you want to help, you must avoid any action that might cause the person to become withdrawn or isolated. So choose your words and actions carefully. Domestic violence already involves loss of confidence and self-esteem. It is important to avoid making this worse. It is also necessary to always keep a distance and objectivity towards the situation and to avoid harbouring personal hatred towards the persecutor. Whatever the person’s reaction or decision, never blame them. Your main concern should be their safety.
Learn more: Help someone who is in an abusive relationship