Is Someone You Love Being Abused?

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Is Someone You Love Being Abused? [EXPERT]
Take these 5 steps if someone you love is the victim of domestic violence.

Are you afraid that someone you care about is a victim of domestic abuse?

Maybe your friend seems afraid to confide in you like she used to. Perhaps your cousin's husband seems controlling and doesn't want her to spend time with anyone but him. Maybe your sister's husband is intensely jealous, even though she's never given him a reason to be insecure. These are all signs that she's at risk for emotional or physical abuse.

So, what should you do if you think a friend or family member is being abused? How do you help without making things worse for her?

You're in a difficult position. You're concerned for her safety, but you're also afraid that you'll alienate her by raising questions about her partner's unacceptable behavior. Despite these conflicting emotions, you still feel like you need to do something to intervene.

Here are some tips to support a loved one that is being abused:

1. Contact your local domestic violence resource center to educate yourself. Ask for information on the cycle of violence.

You should also ask for access to available community resources and advice for developing safety plans. That way, you'll have specific information to offer her when the timing's right.

2. Gently bring up the subject with your friend. Broaching intimate partner violence is tricky, particularly because you may be totally wrong about what's happening.

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