Do you suspect that your friend is in an abusive relationship?
From my perspective and experience, these are five things you can do for your friend:
- Let her/him know that you are there for them and how much you care about them.
- Send them a note/text/msg periodically to remind them that you care for them.
- Tell your friend that you are worried about them, and why. “Herisme, I am worried about you because I hear the way Mr H is unusually uncomfortably angry about the way Son plays with his toys. Son appears to be playing fine to me. Is everything okay?”
- Ask your friend if she/he is being abused. “Herisme, are you okay? Are you being abused/hurt by Mr H?” BE PATIENT with their responses and do not take anything personally. You can always apologize for misreading the situation, if necessary.
- Gather community resource information so that you are prepared to guide your friend when they are ready.
domestic violence shelter information
how to make a safety plan
inform another trusted friend, pastor, priest, rabbi – you need support too
As tempting as it seems to be, and as well as you think that you know the suspected abuser, do NOT ever confront the abuser without professional advice, support or guidance.
I would not be alive today if people in my tribe had not done these things for me.
They did these things a lot.
They did these things, even though I know that it broke their hearts to do it.
They did these things even when I did not believe any of it.
They did these things and I am forever grateful to all of them.
These opinions are my own, based on my own experience. I am not a credentialed expert. Please call an expert in your area if you suspect abuse is happening.
Love, Ms. Herisme
(picture from StoryPeople)