There are many ways that family and friends can support survivors of violence. Here are a few suggestions:
One of the most important thigs you can do is simply listen to the survivor and validate their experiences. Let them know that you believe them and that what happened was not their fault.
Understand that healing takes time and that everyone's journey is different. Be patient with the survivor and avoid pressuring them to "get over it" or "move on."
It's important to respect the survivor's boundaries and not push them into discussing or doing anything they're not ready for. Let them take the lead and make decisions about their own healing process.
Offer practical support such as accompanying them to appointments, helping with transportation, or assisting with childcare. These gestures can alleviate some of the survivor's stress and allow them to focus on their healing.
Encourage the survivor to seek professional help if they haven't already. Talking to a domestic violence advocate at The Haven can be incredibly beneficial for survivors of violence. Call 1-800-915-0045 for assistance.
Take the time to educate yourself about the effects of violence and the resources available to survivors. This will help you better understand their experiences and provide appropriate support.
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