Are you a friend or a relative?

 

Believe what you hear, and more, the women we meet often just tell us a fraction of what they´ve been through.

 

Here are some tips for you as a friend to, or relative of someone who’s the victim of domestic abuse:

 

Call a crisis center

 

Help your friend or relative to find out where she can get help, and what kind of help there is to get. Give her the name and number of the nearest crisis center.

 

Try on your own to find information, so that you can help her if she has any questions (you can always call us or any of the other crisis centers as a relative if you have any questions). And the more you know, the more you´ll have a better understanding about what she´s going through. It´ll be easier for you to understand what she´s going through, why she reacts the way she does and the situations she might be facing.

 

Believe in what she tells you

If anyone close to you tells you her story, reassure her that you´re taking it seriously. Believe in what she tells you, it´s very common for women who are abused in any way to diminish what´s happening, not the other way around. 

 

If you see someone who doesn’t look like they´re doing well, confront them in a loving way. It´s very important not to put any of the blame on her. She might deny the problems or she might get angry, but don’t take it personal. Every person confronting her plants a seed for a change. Never insinuate that she herself might be the cause of the abuse. The abuser is always sole responsible for the abuse.

 

Ask her what kind of help she wants. Does she want you to listen, or does she want to have information? Does she need to run away or to make a police report? Sometimes it might take a while before she knows what she wants. Show her that you care, and that you´re there for her if she wants to talk to someone, instead of criticizing her about her problems.

 

Don´t tiptoe

Be as honest as you can, show that you care and don’t accuse her. It’s important to show that you see something isn´t right. It might be a good idea to tell her that what she´s been through is a crime, it´s illegal and it´s not her fault.

 

Although it might be hard, don’t try to take control over her life. All the choices she makes must be hers.

 

Stay with her, and don’t turn your back on her, even though her choices doesn’t make any sense to you. To demand direct actions of her to leave her relationship won’t do any good.

 

Be supportive

 

Try not to be her therapist, help her to get professional care instead. A first step can be to get her to contact her local crisis center.

 

Don’t forget yourself in all of this. You might need someone outside of this to talk to as well. Friends and relatives are always welcome to call our crisis center if they want to talk.  

Don’t forget that your role in this is only as a support, she has to take this big step on her own.

 

Remember that her experience is her own trauma, and you can hurt yourself by investing yourself too deeply. Help the both of you by not forgetting to live your own life.

 

Do you know anybody in this situation?

 

Do you need help and support in this?

 

We´re here for you!

Call us at: 054-18 30 34                       or email: kvinnojouren@akhkarlstad.se

 

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