It’s hard watching the person you love get hurt. However, these things are tricky and require a gentle approach. Here’s what you can do to help a friend in an abusive relationship.
Let Your Friend Know How Great They Are
Start a conversation by reminding your friend of all their positive qualities. It’s essential to help your friend feel safe and like they can say anything to you without judgment.
Be a Good Listener
You don’t want to force your friend to do anything or bombard them with advice. Instead, be a good listener and allow them to express what they are feeling and going through. Remember, talking about this is hard, so you should show them support and be ready to help.
Let Them Know You Are There for Them
They will feel much better knowing that you will be there for them no matter what they decide. Getting out of an abusive relationship is a thorough and complicated process, so your friend needs your support instead of your judgment. Try to show them you are there for them, by reaching out always and being supportive.
Ask Your Friend About Their Feelings
The abuser in the relationship often conditions their partner to stop believing themselves and their own feelings. This is why it can be helpful to ask your friend what they are going through these traumatic experiences. Let them know that they didn’t do anything wrong and that their feelings are valid. This can help them realize they need to leave the relationship.
Don’t Blame Them
Things look much different from their perspective than from yours. Don’t blame them for staying in a relationship. Instead, express your concerns for their safety and gently explain to them that their situation isn’t healthy.
Help Them Make a Safety Plan
You can’t make them leave the relationship; however, you can plan out the safety plan with them if things get out of hand. This way, your friend will know they can get out when they are ready. Make sure they know who to call in case of emergency and plan where they will be staying after separation.