The majority of Americans know a survivor of domestic abuse or sexual assault, highlighting the importance of recognizing violence and supporting survivors. Do you have a friend or loved one who is experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence? If you are unsure, the following are some signs of an abusive relationship.
- Isolating partner from family, friends, or activities
- Extreme jealously or possessiveness
- Checking partner’s cell phone or social media
- Hurting partner physically or verbally
- Pressuring partner for sexual behavior or images
If you recognize any of these signs, the following are some things you can do to help the person.
- Be available to listen, ask what they need from you, and don’t assume you know what is best.
- Don’t judge their choices
- Assure the person the abuse is not their fault
- Respect their privacy, don’t tell others about the violence without their consent
- Take care of yourself too!
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say when someone discloses violence. Following are some ideas to consider.
- “It’s not your fault.”
- “Thank you for telling me.”
- “I am available if and when you are ready to talk.”
How about the things you shouldn’t do? Following is a list of things to avoid because they could increase the risk of danger and further isolate the person.
- Don’t put down the abuser
- Don’t confront the abuser
- Don’t post negative stuff about the abuser online
- Don’t push the victim into making a decision
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you are not alone! Embrace is here to help. You can contact Embrace for free, confidential support at 1-800-924-0556 or text 715-532-6976.