Most of the people are unaware of the fact that even men are victims of domestic violence. Yes – there are a few mentally disturbed, violent and aggressive women, who not only verbally abuse their husbands, but also hit them terribly. Since their husbands love them, they don’t leave them.
Yet, most of the times it is the female gender that suffers from domestic violence more than the malegender. No matter which gender faces this issue, the victim’s trust on concepts like love and marriage is shattered. The barbarous act of domestic violence leaves several scars not only on the body of the victim, but on her soul as well.
1) Check for wounds or scars on their body: This is the first thing that you need to do when you think someone is going through domestic violence. Look for fresh wounds or scars on the body of the person you think is undergoing domestic violence. Victims of this issue usually wear full- sleeved clothes, leg-covering jeans or pants and other such covered clothes in order to hide their wounds or scars. The moment you find fresh wounds or scars, have a word with them.
2) If you trust your gut, it is time for you to talk to them: If you think and are sure about someone going through the terrible problem of domestic violence, you must prepare yourself to talk to them. Of course it is not as easy as it sounds because if you question them directly, they might not answer or even be true to you. You might even see such people walking away the moment you start conversing with them about the issue they are going through. Thus, you have to be very careful in choosing your words while interacting with victims of domestic violence.
3) Rather than accusing them for tolerating domestic violence, begin with polite and humble questions: Wondering how to talk to them? The first thing that you need to do is prepare yourself. Prepare a list of questions in your mind and ensure to be as polite as you can. Do not expect true answers at first. You have to choose your words carefully while talking to people ‘suffering from’ domestic violence. Begin with… ‘how are things going on with your partner?’ Try to make them comfortable so that they open up their heart with you.
4) Please note that they are in a scary situation and they won’t open up quickly: If you are expecting them to be 100% true to you from the very first question that you ask, you are being too pushy. Don’t expect them to say anything at all, especially if you are not very close to them. Give them their own time and space and gently hit them with questions. Once they know they can trust you, they will share their pains with you. Until then, just make them feel like you are there for them. Let them grasp your presence around them and feel comfortable with you. When they start trusting you, they share every single detail with you and also agree to take help from you.
5) Let them know you are there and you won’t tell anyone about it: The biggest fear that the domestic violence victims have in their hearts is sharing their pains with someone who would fight with their partner, making him more aggressive. The best thing to do is give your time, patience and ears to the victims and don’t do anything about it; don’t make it obvious that you’d want to hit their partner, who has been violent to them. If you constantly show care and concern for them, they might fear upsetting you and losing you.
6) Don’t judge them; that’s the last thing they would ever want: The worst thing that most of the people do is try motivating the domestic violence victims in a negative way. No matter what – DO NOT say things like ‘you are a coward!’ or ‘if I were you, I would have kicked him long ago!’ Such things might upset them and they would lose all the hopes you are trying to give to them.
7) Don’t tell them what to do; they are probably too scared to leave their partner: Most of the times, domestic violence victims are unable to leave their partners because of their dependence on them, their children or the love that they have for their partners. Guide them to the right path, but don’t be too demanding.
8) Motivate them to come out of the abusive relationship, but don’t be too pushy: Try finding ways to motivate them to stay out of the house as much as possible, so that they can start thinking about their lives. It is important for you to wisely motivate the domestic violence victims to help them come out of the aggressive relationship they are into.
9) Build a safety plan with and for them: When you know they are completely comfortable in talking to you about the terror they are going though at home, you have to sit with them and make a plan to provide them with enough safety. If they want to take a bold step and stay away from their partner, help them be safe and take help from the cops. Once the police is brought into the picture, their partner might not want to risk his life or freedom by hitting them once again.