Learning all of the different ways to help a friend in an abusive relationship can be hard. You want to be there for them, but you also don't want to overstep any boundaries that they might have. An abusive relationship is hard to get out of girls, I was in one for a very long time and it's difficult to leave – or for you to see that you are in one. If you are looking for ways to help a friend in an abusive relationship, I've got the best ways that are sure to help your friend and to not make you seem like you are smothering them. Take a look!
1. Be There
By far, one of the most important ways to help a friend in an abusive relationship is to be there for them. You can't expect your friend to come to you with every single hit or every single bad word that is said to them, but being there when it counts helps your friend trust you. You also have to live through the abuse that your friend is going through and make sure that they are comfortable with you … and with your opinions. It's okay to voice your opinions, but don't make it all about you okay? Sometimes, a friend isn't ready to leave their relationship. They need to come to that decision on their own terms, so just be there for them!
2. Comfort is Important
While being there for them is important, comforting them is also important and there is a difference. When you are there for them, you are willing to listen to their problems and what was said in the argument, but do you also give your opinion? In comforting them, just let them talk, listen to them, really let them vent to you and comfort them.
3. Don't Wait to Reach out
Sometimes, when the abuse is very, very bad and your friend is constantly putting themselves in danger whenever their partner gets angry or drunk, you can't just wait for your friend to reach out. You've got to be willing to reach out to them – and if need be, call the police and step in when needed. It's hard to put yourself in that situation, but an abusive relationship is hard to be in, especially when your judgment is cloudy.
4. Be Observant
Being a really good friend is all about being observant and if you are noticing the abuse happening to your friend, emotional or physical, you've got to speak up. Don't put them in an uncomfortable situation (remember, being there and letting them come to the decision of leaving), but you've really got to take notice of their personality and any changes you see in it.
5. Defend Your Friend
Oh yes, this is a huge one – you've got to defend your friend not just from their partner but sometimes, from themselves. If your friend is constantly putting themselves down because that is what they are hearing at home all of the time, tell them your opinion on how they are and who they are!
6. Help Them Seek Professional Help
Professional help is going to be a huge part of helping your friend in an abusive relationship. I had to go to therapy to get out of my funk, but Lyndsie, my partner, helped me come to that decision. You've got to help your friend come to the decision that they might need professional help – and even offer to help them look. Don't push if they aren't ready though, because that can cause conflict.
Finally, a sleepover can draw out so many different things and can help your friend realize a life outside of the abuse. Heck, maybe she'll come around to the decision that she really isn't living with her relationship – she is surviving. Whether the sleepover is at your house or you two go out on a girls getaway, make sure that you have a blast and show her what life can be like!
Now that you know all of the different ways to help your friend through an abusive relationship, just remember, it's not about you, it's about them. It's hard to admit that you are in an abusive relationship but once you do, especially to your friends, it's easier to ease out of it. So, have you ever helped a friend through an abusive relationship?