It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night than to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).
Recently, I re-read the blog that I wrote three months ago titled “To the young woman at the mall.” If you are not already familiar with the piece, it is linked here https://lamaleah.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/to-the-young-lady-in-the-mall/. I thought that it would be appropriate to write a part two/continuation of that post; this time it will be an open letter to the friends and family of the young lady in the mall.
Dear friends and family of the young lady at the mall, I understand that you are hurting for it is hard to see someone that you love be in an abusive relationship but here are some things to remember:
~ Do not blame yourself for the situation that your loved one is in. It is not worth the time or the energy spending your time wishing that you had done something different. It is easy to say, “If I was a better sister, aunt, mother, (whatever your relation may be) they wouldn’t be in that position.” It is convenient to think in that manner but you can’t be sure that if you were a “better friend” that they would make different life choices.
~Be the role model in their life that they need. Keep toxic influences out of your life, and don’t let others push you around. How will your love ones have a desire to leave an abusive relationship if you yourself are in them?
~ Don’t judge them for staying because it takes more strength to leave then it does to stay. Make sure they know that you can be a listening ear when they need it, encourage them to leave but remember that it takes a lot of courage to do so. If they reach out for help, and the abuser finds out, they probably will not be safe. It takes courage to leave when the victim knows what the risk factors are of leaving.
~Pray for everyone involved in the situation. I believe that people can change but only through the blood of Christ. “Prayer changes things.”
~Remind them that they are loved. You may be the only influence in her life that unconditionally loves her. She needs to know that she is loved and worth more than being abused before she will ever leave.
When they are ready to leave they will, but they will definitely need love and support when they take the steps needed to leave. If they leave, they will need your help to enter back into society. But in the meantime, while you are praying for them, love and show them Christ as much as you can in creative ways. I know that it hurts now, but remember that our heavenly Father is waiting for them with open arms.
“It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night then to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).”