There are few situations as difficult as being the victim of domestic violence. This is a crime which carries both a physical and emotional component, and it is far more common that many would like to admit. Unfortunately, many domestic violence victims never get the support they deserve because of a lack of understanding of this issue by those around them. If you have been a victim of domestic violence in our around central Maryland, or if you are trying to be of support to someone who has, the following information may be of assistance.
Never Blame the Victim
No matter the circumstances, domestic violence is never the fault of the victim. If you are trying to support someone who has been abused, you need to make it clear that you do not blame them for this situation. Listen to the information they are giving you about the situation, be supportive, and believe them. If you are argumentative in any way, they may not feel like they can trust you to support them through this process.
Offer Your Support in Any Way Possible
A victim of domestic violence may need support in a variety of ways. They may need money that they can use to buy daily necessities, or they may need a place to stay. Make sure the victim knows that you are available to support them in whatever way is needed at the time.
Do Not Take Matters into Your Own Hands
No matter how badly you want to stand up for the victim in a domestic violence situation, you should not physically or verbally confront the abuser. This individual has already demonstrated a willingness to be violent, and it is possible that he or she will become violent with your as well. Or, your intervention could make things even worse for the original victim. Leave any kind of confrontation to professional law enforcement.
Turn to Support Groups
For the victims of domestic violence, support groups can be incredibly powerful. Having the opportunity to speak to counselors and others who have been in a similar situation may provide hope where none seemed to exist previously. There are hotlines available to call at any time of the day or night which will lend support and advice. It is common for domestic violence victims to feel isolated and alone in their struggle, so support groups and hotlines play a vital role in improving this situation.
Don’t Tell Your Abuser of Plans to Leave
If you are going to leave your abuser at a specific point in time, don’t tell them of this plan. Make your own preparations as necessary and leave when you feel it is safe to do so. If possible, create a plan which will give you a safe place to turn should you make a sudden decision to leave the situation. Having a place to stay which is unknown to your abuser can at least allow you to put some distance between yourself and this individual before further action can be taken.