Very good article - please read the entire thing!
The ending I will quote here!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The most important thing you can do for a friend or family member who's being abused is to let the person know you care. They need to know that you are there for them, no matter what. If you see signs or specific behavior patterns in a loved one or friend, you cannot look away. Here are some things to be alert to. Is she:
*Not coming to family gatherings or outings?
*Making excuses for not showing up when they're expected?
*Wearing clothes that hide arms and legs during hot weather.
*Appearing irritable or depressed?
*Talking about trouble in the relationship?
*Openly admitting emotional, physical or sexual abuse?
These are all signs of abuse.
If someone is trying to reach out to you for help, don't pass it off as a one time incident. Abuse is against the law; these are not accidents, they are crimes. If you choose to ignore appeals for help, she could be killed, and there will be no more choices to make, except to pick up the pieces. Listen to the person who comes to you for assistance or advice. Don't judge her. Do not minimize the extent of what she says is going on.
Abuse is not a "One Size Fits All" Solution. Like our own fingerprints no two cases of abuse are the same. Our society does not make it okay for anyone to say "I need help" or I am a victim of abuse or a broken relationship", when there is so much contempt for weakness and submissiveness.
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of programs and agencies who assist victims of domestic violence are located in your phone book under social service agencies. Or you can search the internet. Sit down at the kitchen table with her, take paper and pen and help her with a safety plan or to set goals. Let her know you will help and support her in every way. If you know someone who is being abused, but you are fearful of confronting that person, send them information anonymously. Don't look the other way. Do something!
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