There are a lot of do's and don'ts related to helping a victim of abuse but there's probably none bigger than this one -- don't wait to help. Hesitation could lead to a regret you'll carry with you for a long time. You may feel like you're poking your nose in someone else's business. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable with asking the simple question: "Are you OK?"
Maybe you think it's best to sit back and let her come talk to you when she's ready. Have the courage to reach out and don't hesitate. Trust your instincts and be bold. Remind yourself that an outsider -- a friend, relative, or co-worker -- is often the first person to recognize an abusive relationship, even before the victim of abuse recognizes it herself. This is not a time for procrastination; it's a time for action.
Helping a victim of abuse isn't easy, but with a caring spirit and an informed mind, you can help bring the abuse to an end [source: Stanford].
- Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness. "Warning Signs of Abuse." (Sept. 23, 2011) http://stoprelationshipabuse.org/educated/warning-signs-of-abuse/
- Hidden Hurt. "Domestic Abuse Information." (Sept. 23, 2011)
- In His Steps Ministries. "15 Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship." (Sept. 23, 2011) http://www.creatingfutures.net/abusive.html
- King, Dr. Jeanne, Ph.D. "Realize it's Not About You." Prevent Abusive Relationships. (Sept. 23, 2011) http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/emotional_verbal_abuse.php
- Lindsey Ann Burke Memorial Fund. "Warning Signs of Abusive Relationships." (Sept. 23, 2011) http://labmf.org/facts/warning_signs
- Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse and Support at Stanford. "Controlling and Abusive Relationships." (Sept. 23, 2011) http://www.stanford.edu/group/svab/relationships.shtml
HowStuffWorks looks at the differences between supporting an addict and enabling one.