Tips For Helping Your Daughter Through A Violent Relationship
It's not a secret that the spate of violence across the nation has experienced an increase in recent times. According to research, one quarter of girls aged 13-17 have experienced intimate partner violence, one in nine has experienced several physical violence and almost three quarters of girls have experienced emotional abuse. It has therefore become imperative that we teach our young daughters and sons how to build healthy relationships. Nobody wishes for it to happen, but this article prepares you for what to do, and how to help your daughter through a violent relationship.
Watching your daughter suffer at the hands of an abusive person is a painful experience for any parent. Naturally, you want to intervene and put an end to the relationship. But that is easier said than done. Although wanting to help is a natural reaction, try to limit your advice. Your daughter needs to make the decision to break up on her own time. Instead, try encouraging her to take back some control in her life.
Here are five things you can do to help:
Spend More Time Listening and Less Time Talking
When your daughter talks to you about her relationship, truly listen. Try not to judge her so she will feel comfortable confiding in you. Be prepared to hear anything she has to say without freaking out. Try not to give advice unless she asks for your opinion, and certainly do not point out her failures. If she feels blamed or judged, the shame may keep her from talking with you again. What's worse, she may hide the relationship from you, which is risky for her.
Help Her Develop the Skills She Needs to Break Up
Abusive behavior often leaves a victim feeling vulnerable, hopeless, and insecure. To combat these feelings, you'll need to help your daughter rebuild her self-esteem. She will need self-confidence and strength in order to stick to her decision to break up with him. Also, help her work on becoming assertive while combating bad habits like people pleasing. You could also teach her resilience.
Encourage Her to Rekindle Relationships with Family and Friends
One of the hallmarks of a bullying and abusive relationship is the isolation from family and friends that exists. It is not uncommon for bullies and abusers to isolate their victims from any network of support. Help your daughter find time in her schedule for healthy friendships. Make sure you spend time with her as well. Just knowing that she is not alone will go a long way in helping her build the confidence she needs to end the relationship.
Resist the Urge to Step In and Take Charge
It's important your daughter regains control of her life on her own. As much as you want to physically remove her from the relationship, you need to allow her to recognize that the relationship is unhealthy. Unless she is at risk for harm, it is best to allow her to make the decision on her own terms. If you push her too soon, your plans may backfire and she may feel even more committed to her boyfriend. Oftentimes, girls develop an “us against the world” mindset when it comes to their boyfriends. When this happens, she becomes even more entrenched in the relationship. As a result, it is vital that she be in charge of when it ends.
Support Her Decisions
Your daughter needs to know that you're on her side no matter what. Leaving a violent relationship can be terrifying for her. She's going to need your support and your strength to help her through this time in her life. What’s more, you need to realize that by allowing her to make her own decisions, she is gaining back her self-confidence and taking control of her life. Remember, a bullying boyfriend often controls her every move. So, you do not want to do the same. Let her see that she is smart, strong, and capable.
Do you know anyone dealing with an abusive or violent partner? Have them contact the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for support.
Resource: Very Well Family
Also read: Im Also A Victim Of Sexual Abuse; TY Bello