I want to help someone
WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE
OPEN UP A DIALOGUE- START A CONVERSATION
Most often, people who are victims of domestic violence do not share their stories because they feel that no one will believe them. Whether it is their family members, friends or authorities, they will keep the abuse to themselves. Someone who is abused is very vulnerable, and the abuser uses power and control to take away independence and destroy their self-confidence. Abused people may not be forthcoming in sharing their experiences because they feel disempowered and do not want to expose themselves to others as they feel shame and guilt.
- Remember most the important thing for a person who has experienced domestic violence is to let them know and reassure them that they are not alone.
- Never force or pressure someone to disclose information they are not ready to share. It is important to meet the person where they are at in terms of comfort level. Your main goal is to listen, acknowledge and validate their feelings, because often times they need someone to believe them.
- You need to avoid any confrontation and judgments or criticisms. Be empathetic to their situation because they do not need the burden of being criticized and judged by others. It is better to position yourself as a trusted ally and a confidante for them so when they are in need of your assistance you can encourage them to get the help that they need.
- The next thing that you should do is to believe their story and truly listen to them with an open heart and mind. Let them know that you are willing to help and will respect whatever decision they make. It is important to be patient and have continuous dialogue and build trust with the victim, because this will ensure that they keep you involved in their decision making process.
- Non-verbal communication can be a very important part of the conversation because it allows you to acknowledge them and demonstrate that you are there when they need to share their story.
- Showing that you care and that you are available is important because they will rely on your assistance when they need you the most. Knowledge is power, so it is important to learn and keep yourself updated with information on domestic violence and abuse issues.
To provide help to someone experiencing domestic violence, click here to learn more about safety planning. (link to safety plan)
We also have a list of resources for those in need who have been abused, click here for a list of resources. (link to resources)
We have six booklets discussing issues surround violence and abuse, where more information about these issues are provided. Please click here to access the booklets. (link to booklets)