6 Ways To Confront Your Friend Who’s Abusing Their Partner
- JWB Post
- September 22, 2015
We’ve found this article on Everyday Feminism where the writer talks about few tips you can give to your friend WHO is abusing his/her partner. Check out:
1. Consult the Survivor
The most important aspect is to create a space for survivors and letting them make their own decisions. Before you speak to your friend, ask the partner.
Remember that it’s not your job to “rescue” anyone, but to help create options for them to choose from. There’s always the possibility that your friend’s partner won’t want to have the conversation with you, and that is their right.
After a momentary discomfort, they may be willing to get support from you. So be patient.
2. Consider Safety
Take a moment to think about safety: yours, your friend’s, and particularly your friend’s partner’s. If you or the survivor of abuse believe that there is a risk of physical danger, then it might be important to postpone the confrontation with your friend.
3. Prepare Your Friend
No matter how good your intentions are, don’t just go and speak about this to your friend. Surprises aren’t good in this case. Let your friend know that that you want to talk to them about something important (or be even more explicit than that), and schedule a time and place that is comfortable for both of you.
4. Have the Conversation
There are few things to keep in mind when you start the conversation:
- Speak from a place of love.Explain that the reason you’re having this conversation is because you care about your friend.
- Own your words, feelings, and judgments. This often looks like using tentative phrases that begin with “I feel that,” “I could be wrong, but I think that,” “It seems to me like,” and so on.It also means not speaking for the survivor of abuse unless they’ve asked you to.
- Allow for pauses, gaps, and breaks in the conversation. Acknowledge that this is a dialogue that may have to take place over a few days, weeks, or even months.
- Resist the urge to give your friend orders or ultimatums.Phrases like “You need to do _____,” “If you don’t stop____, then_____,” and “You have to ____” aren’t helpful. Analyzing their behavior (“Maybe this is because of your past traumatic relationships”) is probably also not that helpful. Instead, point out the behavior that you see as abusive, tell them that you think it isn’t acceptable, and let them draw their own conclusions.
5. Follow Up
If your friend refuses to acknowledge that they’re being abusive, then it may take a long time, and many more conversations to get the point across. You can help them connect to local resources such as community organizations and mental health care. Most people who act abusively do so because they are feeling out of control in some part of their lives, and helping restore that sense of empowerment can make an enormous difference.
6. Love Yourself
Confronting abusive friends can be emotionally destabilizing and draining. It forces you to re-evaluate everything you know about yourself, about relationships, and the people around you. So ask for help. Feed yourself. Sleep. Drink water. Give yourself time to just rest and to feel.
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