How to Help Someone You Care About
Start by believing. Often a victim’s number one fear is that they won’t be believed if they choose to share their experience. It is not our place to investigate. Believe them.
Respect their decisions. There are many reasons victims feel trapped in abusive situations, or return to them. Do not criticize or try to guilt them into leaving. They are doing the best they can to protect themselves and/or children.
Continue to encourage them to stay involved with friends, family, and other outside activities. Isolation is a key component of an abusive relationship, so even if your loved one frequently fails to show up, keep checking and inviting.
Plan for Safety
Help your loved one to develop a comprehensive safety plan. There are many resources online, or just talk through how they will stay safe in their home, or escape a dangerous event if they have to. Offer to provide a safe place to go.
Talk to them about their options. In the OKC Metro, they are always welcome to call or visit Palomar, 8-5, M-F. They can also call the DV hotline at 1-800-522-SAFE 24 hours a day to learn about VPOs, advocacy, relocation assistance, civil legal assistance, counseling services, and more.
While it is always difficult to watch someone you care about suffer through abuse, you alone cannot save them from it. Only they have the power to make the decision to get help and get away. It’s important for you to support them through their struggles and respect whatever decisions they make, and help them find a way to safety when they are ready.