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For the one in four women and one in nine men that fall victim to domestic violence each year, October is a hard month: domestic violence awareness month. While it is a time to bring awareness to the growing issue and celebrate those who have survived, it may bring many triggering memories for those who still carry the emotional and physical scars of their abuse.
Dod Law is an award-winning domestic violence attorney in California. If you have a friend or loved one who may be struggling during domestic violence awareness month this year, there are five ways to support the survivor in your life to make them feel safe, loved, and empowered this October.
5 Ways You Can Support a Survivor of Domestic Violence
October is a month when regular coffee transitions to pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkins don the front steps of homes, and flannel jackets make their debut for the season. October is also a month to advocate for awareness and education on the growing issue of domestic violence in our country. This time of year may be hard for many survivors, so the following is a list of five ways you can do your part to support your friend or loved one during domestic violence awareness month and the rest of the year.
Do Not Judge Their Experience
Every survivor of domestic violence may have had a different experience. Many people assume that domestic violence has to involve physical abuse, but that is not the case. Domestic violence may be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Even if you do not understand the abuse they suffered from, you should never voice your judgment to a survivor. As a friend or family member, it is not your job to voice your opinion or diagnose them. It is important that you are there to listen and support them objectively.
Respect Their Level of Comfortability
Many survivors of domestic violence may suffer from stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other psychological disorders following the abuse. It may be difficult for them to be comfortable being completely open with you in the beginning. Reassure them that whatever they are comfortable with is what you are comfortable with. You should never push them or try to get more out of them than they are ready to share with you.
Provide Them With Resources
While your friend or family member may already be aware of the resources available to help victims of domestic violence, it is helpful for you to be aware of the resources in the case they come to you for help. Some resources to know include:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- The contact information of any local domestic violence centers or shelters in your area
Celebrate Their Courage
Leaving an abusive relationship is very difficult. It is essential that you celebrate the courage and strength of your friend or loved one as they begin a new chapter of their lives and heal from the abuse they have endured.
Check in On Them
Whether you drop off a small gift to remind them that you are there for them or take a walk to grab a coffee and talk every Thursday night, doing something to check in on survivors of domestic violence may do wonders for their mental health. Even if they seem like they are doing better, send them a text saying how proud you are of them anyways. Doing these little things can go a long way.
California Domestic Violence Attorney is Here to Help
Domestic violence is a serious charge that may harm the lives of individuals who may have been unjustly accused. There are many reasons someone may be wrongfully accused of domestic violence, and this accusation can severely hurt a person’s reputation.
If you feel you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, you may want to partner with California domestic violence law firm Dod Law. Attorney Dod is an award-winning domestic violence attorney with over 17 years of experience providing his clients with the dedicated representation they deserve. For a free consultation, contact us here or call (619) 814-5110.