Many victims of domestic abuse do not report instances of violence because they do not know where to turn. While there are many resources to help victims, it can be hard to access them when a victim is suffering physical restrictions at the hands of their abuser, or even psychological trauma as a result of abuse.
Victims of domestic abuse are often isolated by their abusers. This means they are less likely to turn to family members or friends out of fear that they won’t be believed. 19% of people know a friend or family member who has been the victim of domestic violence. 17% of people know an abuser. These statistics are scary, and it means that there is a very likely chance that someone you know could be in an abusive situation! If you ever experience any instances of violence in your own or your friends’ relationships, it is important to call the police. Make sure to document everything you witness. This can include date, time, injuries that occur, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. This can help with the process of securing restraining orders or in pressing charges against an abusive person.
If a friend tells you they are trying to leave an abusive relationship, it is important that you make them feel safe. Keep your phone on you and make sure you have gas in your car if they need you to pick them up. Establish an escape plan if they need to leave unexpectedly, or determine a meeting point if they leave on their own. Leaving an abusive relationship is mentally taxing, let your friend know you are available to help them set up new phones, bank accounts or anything else they need.
Even if you do not know anyone who is in an abusive relationship, you can still take steps to help victims. You can start by taking small steps to discourage the spread of violence in your community. Speak out against domestic violence, and refuse to support violence glorifying content in popular culture.
There are many resources across the country to help victims of domestic abuse. There are numerous shelters across the country that house domestic abuse survivors, and they take donations from people who are willing to help. Consider donating to your local shelter, either monetarily or by bringing in clothing, bedding, or hygiene products.
You can also help other domestic abuse victims locate services. Help them reach out to the national domestic violence hotline, either by calling or going online. There are many other ways you can help support domestic abuse victims.