13 ways to help the victim of domestic violence

In appearance, your colleague or friend is successful and satisfied with life. But what if they keep a shameful secret that you have known about? What if he or she is faced with physical and emotional violence in his own family? The psychologist and conflict expert Christine Hammond tells how to behave correctly with the victim of a home tyrant and how to help.

Elena – a successful, respected doctor with a wonderful reputation. Patients are sympathetic, they simply adore it. But, despite all the achievements, she has a shameful secret – under her clothes she hides bruises from beatings. Shortly after the wedding, her husband began to beat her. She was tormented by a terrible feeling of shame, and she did not understand how to leave her, so she stayed with him. Her husband was no less respected by a doctor in the city, and none of the outsiders knew about his mockery of his wife. She was afraid that if she tells about it, no one would believe her.

Alexander often lingered at work so as not to come home longer. He already knew that if he was resting until late, his wife would get drunk and fall asleep, and he could avoid another drunken scandal, which would surely end in assault. In order to somehow explain the bruises on his body, he began to engage in martial arts-now he could say that he was hit in training. He thought about divorce, but his wife manipulated them, threatening suicide.

Neither Elena nor Alexander look like stereotypical victims of domestic violence. And that is why the problem has acquired such scale today. Many victims are tormented by such a strong feeling of shame that they do not dare to break off relations. Often they believe that the partner’s behavior will change for the better over time – just wait. So they wait – for months, years. The hardestness for them is a sense of loneliness – there is no one who understands them and supports them. On the contrary, they are very often condemned and treated with contempt, which enhances the feeling of isolation.

If someone in your environment is subjected to domestic violence, this is how you can help:

1. Be always in touch

Most of us do not like phone calls after 10 pm. Unfortunately, domestic violence does not obey the schedule convenient for us. If the victim knows that he can always contact you – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – you become a kind of “rescue circle” for her.

2. Be observant

Many victims live as if in a fog. They constantly “forget” about cases of violence and cruelty and recall only positive aspects of relations. This is the natural protective mechanism of the psyche. A faithful friend will always help to recall what was really, but at the same time it will not be too often reminded of this victim so as not to torment her even more.

3. Do not condemn

Even the most intelligent, talented, beautiful and enterprising people can fall into a trap of dysfunctional relationships. This is not a sign of weakness. Home tyrants usually behave insidiously, alternating violence with support and praise, which finally confuses the victim.

4. Don’t ask why

Когда жертва «погружена» в неблагополучные отношения, не время размышлять

и искать причины случившегося. She must fully focus on finding a way out of the situation.

5. Agree as much as possible

The last thing the victim of domestic violence needs is unnecessary disputes and proceedings outside the family. Of course, it is never worth approving the response violence and cruelty, but in all the rest it is better to agree with the person who is looking for support from you. This will give him a feeling of at least some stability.

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