If you or a loved one is involved in an abusive relationship, it can be difficult knowing where to look for help.
In the United States alone, 24 people every minute are victims of sexual assault or violence commited by an intimate partner. This statistic doesn’t even factor in the mental and emotional abuse that many often suffer from, as well.
It’s safe to say that abusive relationships are incredibly common. And, there are often multiple, complicated dynamics at play—dynamics that can make the victim feel trapped without any recourse.
The reality is that there are some very helpful resources that can be used to address the problem of abuse in a relationship. In this article, the family law professionals at Kokish and Goldmanis, PC are offering a brief list of places you or your loved one can turn to for help in dealing with a relationship that has abusive elements, whether they be emotional, physical, or otherwise.
For Urgent, Critical Help
Before we move any further, it’s important for our readers to know about the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is a free support service provided by grants from the US government. It’s not just a number to call; the NDVH is a portal to a wealth of services that can often be accessed with little or no money. These services include counseling, connection with local community resources, and more.
If you or a loved one needs immediate support, the number to call is 1-800-799-7233, any time, day or night. The call is free, and confidentiality is guaranteed.
Supporting a Loved One Who Is Struggling
When a friend or family member is involved in an abusive relationship, it’s not always easy knowing how to discuss it, or even where to begin in offering help.
To provide the most effective support you possibly can, take the following tips into consideration:
Voice your support. Often, victims of domestic violence are silent about their ordeal because they don’t feel like they can confide in anyone about what’s going on. When you can, have a private conversation with your loved one, and be sure they know that you are available to help them.
They may not be ready to reach out to you today, but when the time comes, they’ll know they can trust you.
Focus on the behaviors you’re noticing. It’s tempting sometimes to make character judgements or use insults in talking about an abusive relationship. What’s more effective is focusing on the behaviors that are abusive. This is, after all, the crux of the problem.
Local Shelters and Other Resources
For anyone located in the United States, a fantastic resource for help with abusive relationships and domestic violence is the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
The NRCDV can help by connecting victims with safe housing, emotional support services, victim advocacy services, and more.
It might help to learn more about the Safe Housing Partnership, too. This alliance of community-based organizations is on a mission to end homelessness for domestic and sexual violence survivors and their families. Through them, it will be possible to locate lodging for victims, including lodging for their children, if applicable.
The current state of affairs related to the Coronavirus pandemic can make the idea of leaving an abusive relationship seem even more daunting. The victim might feel even more trapped in their current situation, further justifying their decision to stay in the abusive environment.
It’s important to know that all of the nationally administered help resources listed in this article have implemented procedures to help keep the people they serve safe. There should be no reason to allow COVID-19 to stop someone from seeking publicly available assistance in dealing with an abusive relationship.
Stay Strong, Stay Safe
No matter how dark things may seem and no matter how hopeless an abusive situation might appear, there is always a way out.
No one should have to live in fear and emotional isolation at the hands of a domestic abuser. Even though it might take time, money, and resilience to break free from the chains of abuse, it’s possible (and a lot more common than you may think).
A Kokish and Goldmanis, PC, we are dedicated to supporting our local community by providing professional, reliable family law services. This includes matters of divorce, child custody, estate planning, and more.
If we can be of any help for you or your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us.