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How Can I Empower an Abused Girl?

By Gabby

The other day I heard a story about a girl who has a man in her life who is verbally and physically abusive. He comes to her house, for what appears to be an innocent visit, speaks kindly to her roommate, but as soon as the other person leaves the room, he says horrible things to the girl and puts his hands on her. When the roommate returns he becomes sweet again and so, the roommate doesn't believe her. The abuser knows that the girl has no car and takes the girl's phone so that she is unable to call for help or easily get away.

When I heard this story I immediately asked, "Why doesn't she run to a neighbor's house? Why does she let him in? ..." But I began to realize that this girl lack's the emotional strength to help herself. I don't know her, but I automatically want to defend her. I want to tell her to get out of there! I want to go over and play bodyguard for her. But then I rethink my reaction. It won't help if I sit at her front door with a pistol on my hip. This is her fight. She has to chose not to be a victim. So again I thought, How can a girl like this be empowered to be a strong woman?
I was raised to walk out, the moment a man shows any signs of being abusive. I have also never had a girl friend who has been unable to extricate herself from such a situation, so I don't even have practice in advising such a girl. Let's credit my mother with showing me what a strong, independent woman looks like, during my formative years. While I want to sit with this girl, talk to her and empower her, I have no idea how to go about this. I can say all the things I know are important, but this girl need to pull herself up, and I don't know how to inspire this.

My instinct might be to take her to the shooting range. I believe that, might help her begin to feel strong.  However, the reason this idea makes me nervous, is because I wouldn't want this girl thinking that buying a gun for herself, at this point, is a good idea. I think of all the domestic violence cases that end in the abused being killed because she didn't have the strength to defend herself when the time came. I imagine that introducing a firearm to this situation might only make this scenario more hazardous to her. (True to my mantra: Buying a gun will not keep you safe.)

So I pose the question to all of you: How can this girl be helped?

©2013 ArmedCandy,LLC


damselpronikki said...


Jennifer said...

Tough situation. You are right in that you cannot do it for her. Being someone who has been in a situation like this, it's the emotional side leading one to not feel good enough to deserve better. It's not easy, but finding ways to remind someone how strong they are, how beautiful they are and that they DO deserve better is, many of times, the only thing you can do until they believe it enough to change what they accept another to do to them. Finding ways to get out with others, join support groups and stay busy away from that person is a good start.

Hillel said...

You can tell her you believe her, you are there for her, that it is not her fault, and that she does not deserve this kind of treatment. Encourage her to talk with other friends and support people, and maybe a little martial arts training.

2ndAmendmentCoffee said...

The first question that comes to mind is "is she from an alcoholic family?" Many folks who are can fall into co-dependent behavior. If so, you might choose to just leave with her (without talk or pressure) the address, schedule and phone number to the nearest Al-Anon group. Likewise, you might consider mentioning EA (Emotions Anonymous, a 12-Step Program) to her. Another thing that comes to mind is I believe some communities, even churches, have resources for the free counseling of abused women. If your friend is interested, perhaps you might offer driving her to such an appointment. Two more things: (1.) micro video cameras are readily available for her to capture these events if properly used, (2.) a non-lethal self defense option might be best at this stage, ranging from pepper spray to a million watt taser. Nonetheless, I think that introducing a firearm at this stage of the game could backfire on everyone (opinion of one).

2ndAmendmentCoffee said...

Whoops! I forgot to leave another opinion or two. And, that relates to "helping" the concerned woman WHO POSTED THIS. It seems as if you are, and rightfully so, emotionally attached to your friend's problem. Accordingly, DO NOT put yourself in the position of being around her (actually, ESPECIALLY THIS GUY) when YOU are armed! As we all know, things can escalate beyond reason within seconds, and you don't want to be defending yourself in a court of law should something happen...especially after posting this and given your web presence. As you said (in essence), this is HER DEAL. It's not yours. Be there for her, yes. BUT, be there for yourself first! Otherwise, you risk losing effectiveness and your own safety. Opinion on one...#2 ;-)

ArmedCandy said...

Thank you everyone who wants to help this girl. I will pass on the ideas and organizations. Since she is a friend of a friend & I don't actually know her, I plan to stay out of the situation as long as I possibly can.

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