6 Important Steps on How to Help Your Abused Family Member or Friend

by Roshanak Zaredoost

Have you heard of a family member or a friend who is being treated badly by her partner? Did you witness it or did she/he tell you? Or did this family member or friend of yours deny it, tried to cover it up when you tried to talk about it? Did she take out couple of loans for him because she wanted to help her poor partner who is not in state to earn money right now, this poor guy?

Let’s say this person is your own sister. You watch him being disrespectful to your sister, you watch him getting drunk and talking rudely to your sister. You receive text messages from him saying that there is something wrong with your sister and that everything is her fault?

You get angry because you love your sister, and you want the best for her. You then try to talk to her and get her to come to her senses and realize it. You even get mad at her and ask her angrily why she is not doing anything about it, why she is so weak.

Your sister tells you that you are wrong, that he is a good guy, that he loves her and that he has a good heart. Only sometimes he loses his temper. But he does not mean it. He apologizes afterwards and feels ashamed and bad about it. In short, your sister covers it all up which makes you even angrier. You think to yourself: Is she blind? What is wrong with her? Why is she not doing anything about it?

Well, because she is stuck in an abusive relationship and doesn’t dare to take action. She is scared that he will punish her in one way or another. If they have children, she will be scared that he takes their child away from her or hurts her child if she makes any effort to free herself.

What can you do as a good sister to help her?

You can:

  • Just listen to your abused sister when she wants to talk to you about it without judging her
  • Be patient with her
  • Just nod and understand her
  • Assure her that you are always there for her if she needs to talk
  • Prepare yourself financially and emotionally behind the scenes to help your abused sister the day she comes to you and asks you for your help to free herself
  • Assure her that you will help her financially and personally if she ever decides to leave him if you are planning to do so

How to prepare yourself financially and emotionally for the day that your abused sister asks for your help to free herself:

  • Financially: you can start saving ideally in a separate account with the intention to help your abused sister one day if you choose to
  • Why financially: The day that she will be ready to free herself, fed up of being disrespected and hurt, she might not have any money and be financially dependent on him, so she will need to borrow money from you to pay for a divorce lawyer, apartment rent, electricity, water, insurance, telephone and supply for children. (food, clothes,…)
  • Emotionally: you can start tapping and using a self-help tool named EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), for more information please click here
  • Why Emotionally: If she asks you to help her free herself or flee into safety, it also means that she trusts you enough to ask you. She needs to take all the steps very carefully as she is in danger (He might find out, get angry and punish her or her children again). In this moment it is crucial that you feel calm and neutral enough to be able to support her. If you are angry at her, her helplessness and her immense amount of fear and show no understanding and start judging her, then she might give up hope, she might go back to him or take another sort of desperate action.

As an EFT coach I can show you how emotional freedom techniques works and guide you through it.

If you really worried about your sister being in physical danger, you can give her the number of your local emergency and helpline number for abused women, the number of police and emergency line. Maybe you could give her also couple of forums of woman in toxic relationship so she knows there are others like her and that she can get help if she wants to. Mostly abused women live very isolated and feel so ashamed to admit it. They keep appearances so well and pretend that their lives are totally perfect.

In the meantime, you can just listen to your abused sister, be patient with her and just let her talk. You just nod and say: yes, I understand…

Your sister will be for ever grateful and loyal to you once you have helped her to free herself.

If you would like to know how to prepare yourself emotionally, please contact me.

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