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Often, when people witness abuse happening from an outside perspective and are concerned about the victims, they may wish there was more they could do to provide protection and support. Approaching this concern with care and respect is pivotal in their effort to provide encouragement and help without further compromising the safety of any victims.

When people understand how to encourage victims to get help, they may be more successful in their efforts to assist in removing victims from the dangerous situation that is exposing them to mistreatment.

Asking questions to encourage communication

While people may be tempted to say things as they feel and tell a victim what needs to be done to get out of an abusive relationship, being too forward or abrasive can actually backfire. According to Psychology Today, an effective way for people to voice their concerns in a gentle manner is for them to ask questions about the situation. For example, they may ask the victim if he or she has considered reporting the abuse or if medical attention has been sought for treatment of injuries. Answering these questions may get the victims talking which can be insightful for people trying to help.

Suggestions for helping

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Federal Occupational Health, people should never discuss suspicions of abuse or questionable injuries in front of the person they suspect is the abuser. This mistake can endanger everyone’s life or leave victims at an even more exposed danger of abuse. Another suggestion is for people to compile a list of helpful resources including community helps that can be accessed for protection, which they can give to the victim. People should never force a victim to make a decision or make decisions on his or her behalf.