When people spend a lot of time together, they will inevitably upset one another. It is only natural. What is not okay is when someone upsets another person and then begin hurting them for it. While most people don’t stoop to this level, there are some people out there who do.
Thanks to the forced isolation, patience is running thin for people all over the place. This is especially problematic for people in abusive relationships. Living with an abuser can be bad enough in good times, but when in quarantine, things can get a whole lot worse.
It is always important for people to know what to do when they witness abuse, but now it is even more important.
You Are Not Alone
Domestic violence and abuse is not something that should be taken lightly. Hurting anyone is bad, but it is even worse when it is a loved one. It breaks a person’s trust and can harm them both physically and mentally.
People who are suffering from abuse caused by a loved one don’t have to stay in that relationship. Some people can help. There are hundreds of domestic violence services here in California. All of these services can help people getting out of bad relationships.
Another good place to look for help is at the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website: https://www.thehotline.org/. This useful website provides people with the guidance and tools that they need to get safe if they want it. The website even has features that allow visitors to quickly leave the page and go to Google if they need to leave the website in a hurry.
Helping Loved Ones Deal with Abuse
While the choice to leave an abusive relationship is ultimately up to the person in the relationship, it can be nice for them to know they aren’t alone. If someone knows a person who they suspect is in an abusive relationship, the first thing they should do is talk to that person in a safe space away from the potential abuser. The person should let the potential victim know that they are worried about them. No matter what the potential victim says or decides to do, try to provide non-judgmental support.
The Hotline states that it can take, on average, 7 attempts for a victim to leave their abusive relationship for good. This can be hard for people to deal with when it is their loved one being abused. The Hotline reminds people that they cannot save someone from an abusive relationship unless the person wants to leave. If this is the case for a person and their loved one, the person should not lose hope or give up on their loved one. Instead, as long as it is safe to do so, the person should continue to provide love and support for their loved one. In time, that could be what helps someone leave an abusive relationship.
What to Do If You Witness Abuse in Public
If a person is out in public and they see someone being abused by another person, the first thing they need to consider is their own safety. They won’t be helping anyone if they get hurt too. It is important to remember that there is safety in numbers meaning that a group has a better chance of making an impact.
A witness could also contact the authorities and report the incident. They can even go the extra step of recording the incident to provide evidence to the police if the victim decides to press charges. As long as people are out in public, it is perfectly legal for a person to record them because they are not in a place where a person would reasonably expect privacy.
Remember, even if the incident is recorded, it is up to the victim on whether or not they want to press charges against their abuser.
Give Them Love and Support
Being in an abusive relationship is horrible. From the outside, it may be easy to see the problems and to make the decision to leave. However, from within, the victim might not be able to see any viable options for escape. They may not even want to escape.
All a person can do for someone in an abusive relationship is provide love and support for the victim. Doing that can help a whole lot more than people realize.