Domestic violence is a very sensitive situation that anyone will ever have to deal with. There may come a time when you find out that a close friend of yours is suffering from domestic violence. Never turn your back on the problem because you can make a difference by simply reaching out. However, you will have to be prepared when dealing with such a situation as a comment or act can make matters worse, or it can encourage your friend to seek help. It is essential to remember that violence in families is usually difficult to resolve and victims are barely able to defend themselves from their abusers. This is why it is always to your advantage to be informed about such situations.
Does Violence In Families Exist?
Violence within the family is simply domestic violence, where different forms of abuse, violence and intimidation are used to control another member of the family. Such violence is inflicted through verbal, sexual, physical and emotional behavior. Threats, degradation, restriction to finances, drug abuse, suicide attempts, anti-social behavior and isolation are often involved in such violence. This does not only affect the adults in the family, but children as well, all races and all sexes. Every domestic violence case in a family will vary and the approach towards resolving it will also vary.
Think About Your Friend
The first thing that may come to mind when you discover your friend suffering from domestic violence, is fear of getting involved. When this crosses your mind, place yourself in your friend’s shoes and think how you may feel if your friend chose to stay away than help you. Consider the loneliness, anger, fear and shame you may feel each day as your abuser hurts you constantly. Remember that most victims of domestic violence are grateful when a friend reaches out to them. So before you turn your back on your friend, think about the hope for support and care that your friend is anticipating from someone she trusts.
What You Can Do
Here are a few tips to help you identify the signs of family or domestic violence –
Identify The Violence
The signs of domestic violence will not always be visible as victims are often able to hide them. If you have a feeling that your friend has a problem or if she communicates in a different way and there are other certain changes about her, keep an eye for any signs of violence or abuse. When you identify these signs, you will be able to determine the type of problem your friend is going through.
Bear in mind that domestic violence in families is always a sensitive issue, so never approach the situation roughly. It is important that you do not worsen the situation for your friend nor endanger yourself and your family as well. Provoking the abusive member of your friend’s family is the last thing you will want. So, you must find a way to reach out and offer your support and help. You must be prepared to do whatever is right to help your friend and her family. Show your concern and your determination to help.
Get Help When Needed
Discuss the situation with your friend in private without anyone being able to find out. Choose a time when her mood is somewhat calm and collected. Never confront her and the abusive member of the family. In the event you witness or hear violence, do not wait around for things to get ugly, call the police and have them come over. Legal help will also be necessary in domestic violence cases, so you can help your friend look for a well experienced lawyer.
Valerie Clearwater is a freelance writer specializing in criminal law. She regularly contributes articles to legal websites where well experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers can be consulted.