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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I support my friend through a abusive marriage and divorce?

    She has had three abusive relationships and includes 2 marriages, all of which have had various abuse , violent,sexual and verbal.

    She is seeking help with this, but I need to know what to expect, I have read a bit of the victims feelings, but can I do more, I have given her much assistance over the last year, but want to do more.
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    Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    I am not entirely sure of the role you are hoping to play, but people in such situations usually need reminding that whatever the other person is/was doing to them is abuse and that was wrong. They usually also need support, depending on how bad the abuse is. While abuse in never OK, there comes a point where the priority needs to be to get away from the abuser in order to self protect. They might need a place to stay, and getting out of relationships, even if the partner is abusive, is not necessarily as straight forward as it sounds. She will need alternative accommodation and money. So, support in this process is invaluable.

    However, you might be thinking about what emotional support you can give. People usually feel angry, but some feel guilty for being angry. Letting her know it is normal to feel anger, and sadness will help a lot. Never say things like, just forget about it, or you should be over it. Always accept whatever she might be feeling is OK. So, if she needs to talk, just acknowledging her and her experience can be very powerful.

    It is quite a big question, really, so I hope that these brief comments will help you in your role as a supportive friend. Feel free to ask again if you need more detail.

  • supercat

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for the information, i have for quite some time , been giving my friend moral and some financial support, and she is getting psychiatric help to get through it, i have also given her as much support and assurance that it is not her fault, and she now seems to be gradually improving, but i know this will take a long time to overcome what she has been through, perhaps she will never fully recover, as she is very wary of any further relationship/s , i guess that time will be the decider, she has a positive attitude though, which can only be a good thing, i have assured her that whatever, i will be there to help her through it for as long as it takes. 

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