When you care about someone, it makes it difficult to understand why they may still be in a relationship with that person. You’re first instinct may be to tell them to leave the relationship, but it’s not always that easy.
Below are some possible red flags to look out for:
- Are they always worried about their partner or family member finding things out?
- Do they have unexplained bruising or marks on their body?
- Have you noticed extreme changes in their personality?
- Have they stopped spending time with their friends or family?
- Do they make excuses for their partner’s behavior?
- Have they disclosed to you that there is abuse going on in the home?
- Are they always broke because their partner has control of the money?
If you’re interested in learning more about why people stay in an abusive relationship, take a minute to check it out.
Leaving an abusive relationship can be the most dangerous time for abuse to occur because the abuser is losing all power and control over the victim.
The best thing you can do as a friend or family member is to empower the victim to make the decision on their own to leave.
Here are some ways you can help:
Remain non-judgmental by letting them know it is not their fault and you are there for them until they are ready to leave. Do not criticize their decision to stay; this will only cause them to distance themselves from you. According to national statistics, it takes an average of 7 times to leave an abusive relationship, before leaving for good. Most importantly, they need your support.
- Help them create a safety plan, check out our information on creating a safety plan.
- You cannot make the decision for them or save them. As hard as it may be to watch someone you may know being hurt by their partner, it is important for them to make their own decision. Making sure they know you are there for them, although you may not support the relationship is important.
- Encourage them to speak with an advocate. Our staff is available 24/7 to discuss rights and options with them. We accept walk-ins, Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 pm and a 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 585-343-7513.
If there are children in the home who may be witnessing or a victim of the abuse, you can make an anonymous report on the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment at