Listen: It is essential to listen without judgement or criticism. Let your friend open up at their own pace and let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
Believe Them: Victims of domestic violence often have trouble trusting those around them, so it is important that you take their story seriously and believe what they are telling you.
Offer Support: Offer practical support such as providing transportation, money, or a place to stay if needed. You can also help by connecting victims with local resources such as shelters or counseling services.
Don’t Blame Them: It is important not to blame the victim for the abuse they are experiencing. Abuse is never the victim’s fault and they should never be made to feel guilty or ashamed of their situation.
Respect Their Decisions: Ultimately, it is up to the victim whether or not they want to ‘leave’ or try and ‘escape’ the relationship and your role should be to support whatever decision they make—even if it isn’t escaping the abuser immediately.
Keep In Contact: If a victim does decide to leave the relationship, keep in contact with them regularly so that you can check-in and make sure that they are safe and doing okay emotionally and physically.
Educate Yourself: Learn more about domestic violence so that you can better understand the situation your friend or loved one is going through and provide more informed advice when needed.
By following these tips, you can provide much-needed support for victims of domestic abuse who feel trapped in an abusive relationship—and potentially even help save lives in some cases. Just remember that no matter what happens, you must always remain non-judgmental and respectful throughout the process; this will make all the difference in how effective your assistance will be.