BROOKLYN, New York. It can be incredibly difficult to have a friend or family member who is suffering from domestic violence. You may believe that your friend or family member should leave and want to help them take steps to free themselves from the cycle of abuse, but at the end of the day, every person must make their own decisions. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, there are several things you can do to help a friend or family member in need:
- Let your friend or family member know how you feel about the situation. If you have observed situations where you were concerned for your friend, provide details. It is important that you try to have this conversation in a private place where you can both speak openly.
- Be specific about what you can offer. For example, if your loved one decides to leave, she may require child care as she navigates the challenges that follow. She may have to attend court dates or may need to look for a new apartment and work. Think about what you can offer and be specific. If you can offer childcare, dinners, or join her at her court date, tell her.
- Connect her with resources. There are many local community resources available for individuals suffering from domestic violence. Your friend or loved one can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233). The New York State Unified Court System has made it easier for victims of violence to navigate the legal challenges of leaving an abusive relationship. For instance, your loved one or friend may need to make formal criminal charges if he or she has been abused. Furthermore, if he or she is married, she may need to file for divorce or seek custody of the children through the courts. The Integrated Domestic Violence Courts allow victims to pursue justice through an integrated court system. If your loved one is facing divorce or child custody issues, she may want to reach out to an integrated domestic violence lawyer like the Elliot Green Law Offices in Brooklyn, NY.
- Understand that your loved one may choose to stay. It sometimes takes a victim of domestic violence many attempts before they can leave for good. Understand that the cycle of violence can be very powerful and that abusers can be alluring or contrite when a victim chooses to leave. Be there for your friend or loved one—no matter what. Have hope and faith that she will make wise choices.
If you or a loved one is suffering from domestic violence, you may be worried. Family and friends can offer loved ones a safe space to escape violence, but your loved one may still need to navigate the integrated domestic violence courts, especially if she or he is seeking child custody or divorce. Reach out to the Elliot Green Law Offices, integrated domestic violence lawyers in Brooklyn, NY today. We can help.
Elliot Green Law Offices
32 Court Street, Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201