Abusive relationships have become a common problem and if you have a daughter, there is a chance that she might be a victim of one. Based on the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US, there is more than one in three women who have experienced various forms of physical violence such as stalking, assault or rape from their intimate partners. It is difficult to get out of an abusive relationship, but the longer your daughter remains by her boyfriend’s side, the greater the risks will be and she will require immense support from family, friends and professionals in order to recover from an abusive boyfriend.
As a mother, it is only natural that you have a sense of duty or responsibility to help your daughter recover. However, if you want to provide the proper support for her, these four steps can help you.
1. Provide Her With Total Support As She Recovers
Your daughter will still remember the physical and emotional abuse, even if she is no longer in the relationship. The abuse will result in trauma and this can develop into fear, anxious and isolation. As such, she will need immense support form you, other members of the family and friends, as well as support groups that provide counseling in order to recover quickly. She will also have that certain level of fear about entering into another relationship, so encourage her to allow her emotional wounds to heal first. At this point, it would be best that you accompany her to her support group meetings.
2. Help Her Get Her Self-Esteem Back
After the abuse, your daughter’s self-esteem will be very low and she might even be embarrassed to socialize. This is the time she will need praise from you even for the smallest of achievements and encouragement to do things she likes. However, you must stay alert and keep an eye on any signs of her longing to go back to her boyfriend. Set a time for casual conversations where you help her reflect on what went wrong in he relationship and why she must avoid being in an abusive relationship. She must understand that the abuse was not her fault and that she deserves all the respect she can get from a man who claims to love her.
3. Keep Her Safe
In order to keep your daughter safe, have her stay with you and contact a domestic crisis center in your locality. You should also contact local law enforcement to report the abuse and ensure that your daughter and the family take precaution against the abusive behavior of the boyfriend. Assist her in contacting legal help to get a restraining order or RO that she must have in her possession at all times. This RO will provide her with legal protection and justice. “Whether the RO was issued for good cause or not, the Defendant must abide by the conditions of the RO, as long as it is in effect” says elliotsavitz.com . Friends, co-workers and neighbors must all be aware of the RO so they can also contact law enforcers if the boyfriend comes around. It will also help if she gets a new phone number, changes her daily routine, rides to work or school with a friend, changes her locks or moves in with you. Consider all the possible precautions you can take and apply it as it is never too much when it comes to your daughter’s safety.
4. Introduce And Encourage Healthy Relationships
A healthy relationship consists of partners that support one another, but are still independent. Both partners must be able to freely communicate with each other, while respecting one another. Help your daughter understand this and encourage her to develop such relationships. You can also take it in your hands to arrange small social parties or bring her with you when you have parties to go to so she can mingle and get to know more people.
Valerie Clearwater is a freelance writer specializing in an array of legal, parenting and relationship issues. She also offers parenting tips on how to help their children with relationship problems.