Domestic violence and abuse are super hard to talk about for many women. Women are often looked down upon for being in domestic abuse situations. They are told that they did this to themselves and should've seen the warning sides. People give advice on how to get out when they don't know all the details. They judge when the woman has no place to go or is being threatened into staying. But instead of saying all that, I have things that you could say to comfort and help the woman, rather than judging her.
Here are 6 things to say to the person you know suffering from domestic abuse, which will give them strength and meaning:
1. "Talk to me about what you are feeling."
I think many women feel as if they aren't heard. Give them a space to let out what they are internalizing because I promise you they are internalizing things.
2. "You always have me, no matter what."
Many women of domestic abuse feel like they are alone. It's not true and the people who are around them need to show that they aren't alone. You have to be there, through thick and thin.
3. "You're strong. You're brave. You can survive this."
Women often feel as if they can't get out or that they are trapped. Tell them they aren't. Give them positive affirmations because the person hurting them is likely putting them down and destroying their self-confidence. Counteract that by telling them about how important they are and how strong they are. Give them the love they are so desperately looking for.
4. "There is a way out, let me help you find it."
Give them options but don't shove them down their throat. Don't force them because they are already being forced into many things. Give them options and give them time to use them. It's a slow process and it has to be on their terms.
5. "It's not your fault."
This is the most important thing you can tell a survivor to give them comfort and meaning. It takes a weight off of them because they are blaming themselves. 100%. They can say they aren't but they are put down and told everything that happened is because of them. It's not and they need to believe it. Tell them once a day, three times a day, hell, tell them as much as you can so they know it's not their fault.
6. "I love you."
Women of abuse often feel as if they aren't loved. They are told that no one loves them by their abuser. You have to let it be clear that you love them and they can always come to you.
I know it sounds weird that I know so much about this. I am not a direct survivor of domestic abuse. Instead, I am a child of domestic abuse. I watched my mom get hit and cry and turn into someone else. I watched her spark fade and something shift in her. I wish I had known the right things to say to help her because maybe things would've ended up different. I'll never know and I hope these will help others help the person they know surviving domestic abuse.
If you or someone you know needs help, please head to https://www.thehotline.org/ to get help today.