Many good friends want to know how to help a friend in an abusive relationship. First, you must understand that facts and warning signs in order to help. Healthy relationships are built on values of trust, patience, and respect for the other person. Unfortunately, some relationships can turn bad. A study has proven that 1 in 10 high schools students report physical and/or mental abuse during a relationship. Many teenagers in these types of relationships mistake the abuse for eroticism or care. Sometimes, it may even be flattering the the prey. Realistically, jealousy and control issues are not signs of affection at all.
How to Help A Friend in an Abusive Relationship
- Tell them that it is not their fault.
- Tell them that they don’t deserve it.
- Believe them and let them know that you do.
- Be supportive, but don’t tell them what to do. Whatever they decide it is their decision.
- Don’t blame them for the abuse or their decisions. It is difficult to leave a relationship and they may not be ready yet.
- Offer to go with them to talk to someone such as a teacher, a counselor, or an advocate.
- Continue to be there for them even if they do not leave the relationship.
- Let them know that they can always come to you.
- Don’t spread gossip. It could be dangerous for them.
- Help them to make a safety plan.
- Give them good information about abuse.
Parents can help their struggling teen out of this dating violence situation by removing them from the environment. Parents should seek help because it is one of those situation where talking doesn’t erase the problem. Parents of troubled girls should seek guidance at Re-Creation Retreat to help their girls get fully back on track. There are available treatment programs that will ensure growth and healing in every aspect of an abused teen’s life.