When things go wrong we seek refuge in our home, in the arms of our family, amongst people who care for us. But what do we do when our home, our sanctuary becomes our personal hell? What do we do when our loved ones turn on us? Where do we go? What do we do? Domestic violence is the type of violence that shatters our world and leaves us disillusioned.
Even in modern times such as the one we live in, talking about domestic violence is almost taboo. Most people just don’t wish to get involved in what they often term as “a personal matter.” But domestic violence is a social evil that needs to be eradicated and that can only happen when people feel free to talk about it.
Domestic violence is generally a source of great embarrassment for the victim and as a result they don’t seek help. More so if the victim is a man. Yes, it happens. Sorry to shatter your illusions. Men and women both suffer from domestic violence. But with male victims there is an even greater taboo attached. Their masculinity and ego come into question and hence, they shy away from any disclosure.
So what do you do when you suspect someone to be suffering from such mental or physical violence? Well, approach them very carefully. If you feel your relationship with that person isn’t deep enough to discuss such things, talk to their family. Show them the signs and get them to approach the person. While talking to the suspected victim remain calm and composed. Speak with confidence, only then can you inspire it. Give them a sense of security, this can be in the form of a willing ear, a shoulder to cry on or if they really open up to you…maybe you could offer them a roof. It’s rare but not unheard of.
The victim may just realise they aren’t alone and seek your help. They may just be motivated and confident enough to seek help. What better a thing to offer than a roof in this case? If you think their partner may pose a safety problem go to the police. For most victims deciding to leave is the biggest decision so they may be against involving the police. That’s ok. Just be alert. If however, when you approach a suspected victim of domestic violence and they deny your allegations inspite of signs which say otherwise, the best thing to do is to give them space. Reassure them that you’re there for them if they need you and wait. Make sure to check up on them often in the meanwhile.
Love and support are the crutches these victims need to walk again.
So the next time you come across a case of domestic violence keep in mind, it could be you. Would you help you?
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline – They have experienced advocates who are ready to help via chat or phone.