Domestic Valor

Advice for Clergy, Police, Doctors and Family

For Family Members and Friends of Victims

If a person you know is the victim in a DV marriage, if possible, give him or her a copy of my guide “Back from the Looking Glass” and encourage this person to contact the police. You can also encourage this person to talk about the abuse (rather than talk about his or her partner). This will help the victim get ready for any dealings with the authorities.

Help the victim learn to call intimidation by its name instead of discriminating between physical and verbal abuse. If someone puts you down, calls you names, is haughty and sarcastic, it can be as intimidating as if they threaten you physically.

NPD sufferers are experts at confabulation which means that they twist and confuse issues and lie, usually blaming others for their mistakes. Helping the victim get really simple in his or her language is something very important you can offer. He or she will need this when dealing with the police. “Sometimes they make me feel intimidated and scared” is all they may need to say. Instead if the victim talks about his or her partner (rather than the behaviour) it can give the perpetrator a means of twisting the truth.

Tell the victim directly if you think he or she needs to give their kids more attention, cut back on drinking, prescription or non prescription drugs, etc., Don’t let the victim use what the perpetrator is doing to them as an excuse. You can say, ‘Yes but you need to be strong to tackle this’. This may be hurtful for the victim to hear, but it will help in the long run. It is important for friends and family to be able to be honest while still being supportive, saying, “Just complaining about things isn’t going to change things, you need to face reality and start taking action.” I have my mother and another friend to thank for playing this role, which for me was the first and most important step to things changing for the better in our home.