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On The Sidelines When A Loved One Suffer Domestic Violence

WorriedFriend

It might be your child, or a dear friend.  Maybe it’s your parent, a co-worker, or a sibling.  Whoever it is you’re thinking of, there’s nothing more frustrating than believing in your heart that someone you care about is suffering abuse at the hands of their significant other.  You may feel helpless, but the truth is, there are things you can do to help to mitigate the problem.

You’ve Seen the Signs 

You’re already ahead of the game if you recognize the symptoms of domestic violence.  You see someone in withdrawal, depressed or suffering low self-esteem. When you do get to spend time together, your loved one feels compelled to check in frequently with a jealous suspected abuser. You’ve noticed a heavy make-up application, seemingly to cover bruising and other signs of physical abuse.  Or maybe the symptoms aren’t physical.  Perhaps your loved one needs permission to make purchases, to go out with friends and family, or to use the vehicle.  There are many forms of domestic violence, and being alert to the possibilities is the first step. 

You Truly Can Help 

Even amidst denials of abuse, there are things a caring friend, colleague, or family member can do to help a victim of abuse.  For starters, just be available to listen in the event an opportunity to discuss the problem arises.  Be prepared to offer concern and love without judgment or solutions.  It may be difficult to avoid telling someone to simply leave the situation, but a better option is to simply tell the person you believe them and they have done nothing to deserve the treatment they are getting. Offer resources to show them there are options for a better life, but don’t pressure them into doing the “smart” thing.  Understand that there are a lot of reasons victims choose not to leave, including:

  • Fear: They are afraid of starting over alone, or may fear their abuser will track them down and make them “pay” for leaving;
  • Love: They are still in love with their abuser, who may have made promises of changing;
  • Family: They may have kids who love their other parent;
  • Finances: They may believe they cannot afford to live without the financial support of their abuser;
  • Embarrassment: They may feel humiliated to have “failed” in their relationship, or reluctant for others to learn of the circumstances of the split.

Options 

Importantly, victims need to discreetly learn about hotlines, shelters, and legal assistance that is available in their area.  One such resource is the office of WiseLieberman.  Our Boca Raton domestic violence attorneys can quickly secure a restraining order that is designed to keep an abuser at bay.  To discuss the options going forward, schedule a confidential consultation today.

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