Listen and be supportive
Listen without judging, let them know the abuse is not their fault, and respect their decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. They may leave and return to the relationship many times. If it’s difficult for them to talk about the abuse, let them know you are there when they are ready and that there is help available. If they end the relationship, they may feel sad or lonely and will continue to need your support.
Help them to develop a safety plan
Check out information on creating a safety plan, whether they’re choosing to stay, preparing to leave, or have already left.
Remember that you can’t “rescue” them
Although it is hard to see someone you care about get hurt, they must be free to make their own decisions about what they want to do. Support them no matter what they decide, and help them find a way to safety and peace.
Encourage them to stay connected
Encourage them to participate in activities with friends and family who care about them to provide additional support. Also encourage them to call CVIC at (701) 746-8900 to talk confidentially with an advocate to learn about their options.
Excerpted from The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
In cases of elder abuse, you may wish to report suspected concerns and, if the elder is in North Dakota, you may contact 1-800-462-5465. Adult Protective Services will look out for the best interest of the elder person and assist with accessing additional services that may be helpful in obtaining a healthy, safe environment.