Families & Abuse

Counselling For The Loved Ones Of Abuse Survivors

When a family member or friend is dealing with the aftermath of abuse, or is in the midst of an abusive relationship, it can take a toll on those around them.

It can be very frustrating to witness the pain and suffering of a loved one as they struggle with their emotions around their situation. When someone we love is in the midst of an abusive relationship it can be very painful to stand helplessly by while they are being hurt, either physically, emotionally or sexually.

You may want to reach out and help, report the abuse, stage an intervention or physically drag him / her away from their abuser. Even though you feel you know what is best for them, the victim must make the decision to change the situation themselves. Your role must be to support them in and towards this choice.

Where a loved one has made the decision to change the situation and leave, they can face a terrifying and painful journey back to recovery.

Recovery involves accepting, releasing and understanding feelings around what has happened. It is also a very individual, personal journey.

Family and friends are the major support to a survivors recovery. Supporting a survivor of abuse can be a difficult, lengthy and exhausting process.

The Stigma Of Abuse

The stigma of abuse can affect the entire family of the survivor. It can sometimes feel easier to ignore it rather than talk about it. We end up internalising our own feelings of anger, hurt, guilt and helplessness – after all we weren’t the person abused. We support the survivor without while supressing our own emotions.

Counselling can help those supporting survivors of abuse to be heard. It provides a place where you can come to terms with your own emotions and feelings around the abuse and how you are handling your loved one’s recovery. A warm, confidential environment allows you to express the thoughts, fears and emotions that you are holding as a result of being in the supporting role.

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