As a response to the #WhyIStayed discussion, #HowIHelped emerged, doing the most important thing anyone can do–they raised the question…Why does the perpetrator choose to batter?

There are a number of ways that you can support someone you know or love who is in an abusive relationship. They may not always be easy, but being patient is one of the most important things you can do for that person. Try to remember that every relationship is different, and that is especially true for those that include an abusive partner.

  • Help your loved one recognize that they are being abused – that abuse is not normal.
  • Acknowledge that the abusive situation is frightening and difficult to deal with.
  • Reassure your abused loved one that the abuse is NOT their fault.
  • Remind your loved one that he or she is not alone – and that there is help, support and a way out of the abusive situation.
  • Be supportive and listen to your abused loved one. Remember – it is really hard to talk about the abuse.
  • Let your abused loved one know that you are available at any point in time to help your loved one.
  • Let your abused loved one know that you believe them.
  • It is your loved one’s choice whether or not they choose to leave their abuser. Respect their choice.

Seeing your friend or loved one dealing with an abusive situation is incredibly difficult, and it may seem impossible to understand why they continue to return to an abusive person. A survivor of intimate partner violence will leave their abuser an average of seven times before they are able to not return for good. Remember, only that survivor knows what their abuser what the ultimate consequences for leaving will be. Try to respect that.

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