Guest post:How to help a friend who has just got out of an abusive relationship

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By Hannah Katherine Baer

 

I wouldn’t wish an abusive relationship on my worst enemy. Abusive relationships either physical or mental can have damaging affects for years.

Often the abuse victim doesn’t want to fully say what happened, either out of embarrassment or the trauma of reliving the events.

As a friend, your first reaction is to plot the death of the person who hurt your friend. Although I wouldn’t suggest it .. the anger you feel comes from a good place (plus karma will do the work for you! 😜)

So after the initial break up … how can you be there for your friend.

1. They are a survivor hence why they are no longer in that relationship !! So let them know that you are proud of them that they were courageous enough to get out of the situation ! 😊

2. You probably knew there was something funny about your friends ex…. like maybe you had a gut feeling. But now probably isn’t the time to do the “I knew there was something off about him” or the classic “I told you so”. Your friend has been through a traumatic experience and the words they probably want to hear are. “ I believe you”.

3. It’s so common to feel angry for them !! Like if you saw that person out in town you would want to give them a piece of your mind! And to be honest they probably deserve it. But that may not be the best method in the long run. Your friend needs someone who is safe. They have spent a long time feeling anxious and scared and the last thing they want is someone who will add to the drama. Plus be very wary … the ex may use what you say against you and that way can try and take control again

4. You don’t have to be around them 24/7. Sometimes they need time alone to sort things out. Just let them know if they need you , you will be there. Often the person who has been abused has been isolated and had probably burned many bridges with friends. This is one of the awful ways the abuser can take control. So every morning send them a good morning text. Just to let them know if they need you .. you’re there

5. Let them mourn the relationship. Even though it was toxic and unhealthy, there must have been a point when your friend was happy. Usually once your friend is over that, moving on becomes a lot easier

6. They may go back to the ex.. a common tactic for abusers to use, is to make their victim feel like they can’t survive without them. Don’t get angry is this happens !!! They are more likely to come back to you and see the abuser for who they really are if you try to be supportive.

7. If they keep going back to the abuser then it is time to have a serious talk with them. Try not to blame them, let them know you’re upset. Tell them it hurts you when you see the way they are being treated. If it is affecting you personally then it is ok to remove yourself from the situation, your happiness is equally important.

 

There are many ways to support a friend who has got out of an abusive relationship. However, be aware that it is a healing process, and sadly it is up to the victim of the abuse to move on and heal themselves.

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