Alexas_Fotos – pixabay.com
Hello survivors, and welcome to another Dare to Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and where you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.
This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. PLQ continues to explore the topic of emotional abuse this week. Today’s article focuses on how we can help someone affected by abuse. You’ll find more about this below the challenge.
Dare to Create – the challenge
Image source top and bottom left – typorama.com
The challenge – write a poem
* Write a poem expressing how as a survivor of abuse, others could support you better.
* Share with us what experience has taught you.
* Help us to better understand.
Remember, the poem doesn’t have to rhyme to be poetical. Just think about what it is you wish to express, jot down words and feelings then pull the words together to make us feel it. Help us to feel empathy and understanding for your situation. Teach us what we can do to support you more effectively.
Please share with us. Don’t forget to tag @projectlifequality #plq.
Image – Typorama.com
How to support someone you care about
A friend or relative confides in you that the bruises on their wrists were caused by their __________ (Insert the relevant relationship ie girlfriend/ husband/grandparent/ uncle/mother…)
You are frightened for their safety.
You want them to leave the situation.
What can you do?
It’s never easy to learn that someone you care about, is trapped in an abusive situation. It can be tempting to tell them they must get out straight away, but this can make an overwhelming situation even harder for the victim of the abuse.
The first thing to know is that you can never make someone leave. This is a decision the victim of the abuse must take – but it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do.
5 ways to support someone you care about
1. Listen without judgment. It’s very hard for someone who’s never been a victim of abuse to understand why a person may remain in an abusive situation, but there are many reasons this might happen. Listening is both supportive and the only way to learn about the reality of their situation. Build trust and understanding so that you can help them.
They may not recognize the relationship they’re in as abusive if it doesn’t normally include violence and physical harm. Do your research so that you can help them to see the abuse for what it is when the time is right.
- Financial or material abuse
- Physical abuse
- Neglect and acts of omission
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Organisational abuse
- Discriminatory abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Modern slavery
Click the link below for more on this.
Image – Typorama.com
3. Offer to store their important documents in a safe place. Make copies if it’s not possible to get the originals. Failing that, take good photos of them.
- Birth/adoption certificates for them and any children/dependants.
- Marriage certificate.
- Financial paperwork – details about house ownership, mortgage, bank account and life insurance. Bank transaction records. Receipts showing significant outgoings or items paid for by the victim. Wage slips, incoming amounts, and details on benefits they’re receiving personally or on behalf of their dependents.
- Store clear photos of the victim, dependents (adults and children), and the abuser – for identification purposes.
4. Keep a record of incidents, injuries, and actions.
- Take photos of injuries,
- Store texts/emails received from the victim of abuse and abuser/s.
- Make note of anything relevant, that may help if a solicitor, paramedics, police or abuse support worker are needed. Details such as significant dates and medications prescribed for depression, anxiety or injuries.
5. Help them to create a safe escape.
- Devise a code word system whereby your friend/relative can alert you if they need immediate help. Make it simple, easy to remember and be absolutely clear about what it means. I know firsthand, how important and helpful this can be.
- Help them create an Escape Plan. Plan the best time and way to get out fast. Rehearse it. https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/making-a-safety-plan/
- Help them create an escape bag. This contains medications, a spare phone and top-up card, money, clothing, the essentials they’d need if fleeing to a refuge or other safe place. This must be stored where it will not be found by the abuser. I stored a friend’s essentials in our loft, so they’d be available when she got out.
- Encourage them to set up a new bank account in their name alone, so the abuser is unaware of it and has no access to it.
Remember to get the consent of your friend/relative, before taking photos or removing documents. Explain why you believe it is necessary, in advance.
In an emergency, always call 999!
Considering this week’s subject and creative challenge, I’d also like you to take a look at the following.
- A video from Click For Taz demonstrating how she writes poems. This one’s about abuse.
- A TEDx video explaining the cathartic value of writing poetry from Daniel Tysdal.
Be the person you want to be!
PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist