Because you asked, we’ve put together a guide on how to to be a good friend to anyone in an abusive relationship
Here’s a fact: one in every three women experiences violence, mostly from their partner. Here’s another fact: one of them could be someone you know, a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance, or a family member.
An abusive relationship not only destroys a person’s ability to love someone else, but it also destroys their ability to trust people or confide in others about what is happening. Often, it is also very difficult for a person experiencing abuse in an intimate relationship to differentiate between abuse and love.
It is saddening to know that almost 40 percent of women who experience violence of any kind do not seek any form of support.
In times like these, one needs a friend, someone who can pull them out of this nightmare. It could be a life long friend, coworker, a friend, brother, sister, cousin, or parents. They just need a person they can confide in without any reservations.
But there’s a catch.
More than often, we might find ourselves unable to listen to such revelations from a person we deeply care about without making harsh judgments, reacting rashly, and most importantly, lashing out at their naivety.
While these actions may seem justifiable in our heads at the moment, it only makes the other resolve never to speak of it again, or trust anyone to hear her out.
Well, fear not! Our newest toolkit, the Good Friend Guide will help you overcome these challenges. We’re very happy to announce that it will be launched on Tuesday, May 23.
This guide elaborates on the many issues one faces while trying to be a friend or a confidante to a victim of abuse. From how to gain her trust, to coaxing out the problem, listening carefully and how to react, we have tried our best to come up with some comprehensive knowledge for the ‘good friend’.
Please note that, while this guide is a holistic step for anyone seeking to help a person in an abusive relationship, it is by no means a one-stop shop for all kinds of abusive relationships. It is an endeavour to impart simple and practical tips to a general audience.
We are always trying to take one step forward in our journey to end violence and injustice against women. Sexual and physical abuse in intimate relationship is one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to women empowerment. The United Nations records that a staggering 120 million girls and women who are alive today have been raped or sexually assaulted. While numerous nations now have laws against domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape, the number of reported cases doesn’t seem to be reducing.
In our journey to create this handbook, we also spoke to several people who have been a friend to survivors of abusive relationships. Our volunteers tirelessly worked together to add, edit and remove advice on listening skills, speaking skills and even framed a few tips on what can be done, if the situation demands an intervention.
While the advice in our guide can be used to be a ‘good friend’ to anyone, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, we have primarily focused on cis women who have faced, and/or are experiencing violence and abuse in their heterosexual intimate relationships.
P.S. If you would like to use our content and make it inclusive for queer relationships — please do give us a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org! Our Supernova project is launching soon which addresses abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships and they would love a hand with writing content!