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Providing support to someone in a dangerous relationship

For Floridians who suspect their loved one is involved in a dangerous relationship, each day is met with fear and anxiety about the well-being of the suspected victim. Often, these concerned family members wonder how they can help and protect their loved one without endangering anyone else or escalating the situation. 

According to healthfinder.gov, folks who are worried about the safety of a loved one who is involved in a seemingly unhealthy relationship, can take several precautions to encourage their loved one to get help in ways that are discreet. Some of the things they can do include the following:

  • Talk with their family member in a controlled environment that is private and away from the alleged abuser.
  • Collect information about local resources and hotlines to share with their loved one.
  • Stay patient and allow their loved one time to make independent decisions.
  • Remain alert for signs that their loved one is being mistreated and hurt.
  • Help their loved one create a safety plan to escape dangerous situations. 

Often, domestic violence is not immediately noticeable to people who may see the victim every day. In fact, according to WebMd, many abusive relationships develop gradually until threatening behavior becomes consistent and pattern-like. When a person begins to use violence and intimidation to exert control over someone else, the relationship is abusive. If people are questioning whether or not their loved one is being abused, they should look for the following signs:

  • Their loved one always has to ask permission from their spouse.
  • Their loved one makes excuses for noticeable injuries.
  • Their loved one has limited access to money and everyday needs.

Other signs include isolation from family and friends, attempts to hide wounds and noticeable anxiety, apprehension or fear to go home or spend time with a certain person.

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