2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
If a friend came to tell you that her spouse was abusing her, would you help her? Yet one in ten women thinks her friends wouldn't even believe her.
Not only are some women victims of violence afraid that others will not believe them, some are even afraid that their loved ones will prevent them from leaving the family nest. This is according to a study conducted by the Canadian Women's Foundation. We also learned that one in four Canadians has tried to help a woman victim of domestic violence to leave her partner.
We have already discussed domestic violence. It is sneaky and vile, whether physical or psychological, financial or sexual. The women who are victims of it have often lived in an unhe althy environment for so long that they are convinced that at least part of the situation they are experiencing is their fault. Remorse, guilt and doubt prevent them from talking about this situation that they suffer in silence. Sometimes they hope the violent spouse will calm down as they get older, sometimes it's the police who settle the matter after a call from the neighbors. Other times, it is the ambulance that puts an ominous end tothe case. Presumably many of these women who do not speak out and prefer to try to change things on their own are among the 13% of respondents who admitted to being afraid that their loved ones would not believe them.
When Women Finally Speak
It still happens that women who are victims of violence speak out since one in four Canadians say they have already tried to help a woman victim of domestic violence to leave her partner. It is therefore a quarter of Canadians who have been aware of a situation of violence from a loved one.
These figures demonstrate all too well that women have lost confidence in those around them and would not know where to turn to talk about situations that could nevertheless put them in danger. It is therefore up to us, friends, uncles, aunts, cousins and other relatives to open up to confessions and to avoid doubting the words of people for whom we matter.
A few numbers
- The majority of Canadian women would first report physical violence (55%) and sexual violence (56%) to the police or other authorities.
- Nearly half (43%) of respondents do not believe that their HR department at work would believe them if they reported being victims of violence.
- Nearly a third (31%) of Canadian women say the financial burden legal proceedings would place on friends and family would likely prevent them from reporting abuse.
- Another third (31%) of Canadian women say that having their story revealed to the public, friends and family members may prevent them from reporting an abusive situation.
Victims may not tell you twice, and if they find the courage to talk to you, they believe you are someone they trust and can help them. When a friend dares to tell you about what she is going through, listen to her, respect her and help her find resources. It is also important to be attentive to what she would like to do once she leaves her spouse. Some have very specific solutions in mind and their "escape plan" is generally thought out according to the habits of the spouse they want to leave.
If you think someone is being abused, but they haven't told you about it yet, pay attention to their every move and possible "accidents" that are a little too weird or repetitive. Maybe her spouse is watching her and preventing her from seeking help.
By the way, while helping your friend, remember to protect yourself and avoid communicating in writing. Often abusive partners control the Facebook page and emails and could view your interactions as betrayal and put your friend's safety and yours at risk.
If you don't see a way out, don't hesitate to talk about it with a professional who will give you tools to support it. theYour local YMCA is a good place to start, and self-help groups for abused people are also good. It's not just a question of blows and security, it's above all a question of friendship and solidarity.