Building a Group to Help

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Hanna Munin

When it comes to an abusive relationship, it is important to have a group of people you can rely on. When it is not safe yet to leave or if you are in the process of leaving an abusive partner, there needs to be a system in your life that can help you out no matter where you are. It is important to build a support system among your family and friends and among your place of work or school.
When building a support system for your home life, ask yourself the following questions: who is reliable and answers their phone in a timely manner? Who do I trust to support me and take care of me when I am in trouble? After you answer these questions, you can use the people that you came up with as your support system. When you select this group of friends and family members, let them know that you want them as a person to rely on. Work out a system that you can call them or text them in a time of trouble, and once you call them have a code word you can use so that they know to come and get you. The code word or sentence should be simple and secretive. For example, it could be something like “The cat’s in the bag”- this could mean that you need to be picked up from your house. Now that you have a support system for home, now it is time to plan one for work or school.
If you go to school with your abusive partner, it is important to find a way to stay away from them. Change your route from class to class and have friends by either side of you to walk with you so you are never alone. Something else that can help is moving your books from your locker to a friend’s locker so that your abusive partner isn’t waiting for you at your locker. If you work instead of going to school, find people you can trust to tell them about your situation. If your partner shows up at your place of work, have your support system help to have them taken out of your work place and also help support you when that happens. The people in your life are more than willing to help out in a time of need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may surprise yourself and see that the friends you have may be better than you think they are.

If you think you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, visit safeplace.org or call the SafePlace hotline at 512-267-SAFE.

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