Why and how to seek help

Because violence is always harmful, it is crucial to seek help for it. Violence doesn't stop on its own; instead, it tends to escalate over time with more frequent acts of violence. That's why seeking help is important; the sooner, the better.

Professional assistance can aid in breaking free from an abusive relationship or supporting the abuser in changing their behaviour. It is essential to remember that children living in abusive households always need and deserve help.

Even though a familiar, difficult life may feel safer in some ways, seeking help and discussing the situation with outsiders can lead to a resolution and improve the quality of life. We have compiled the contact information of important support services on the Contact details page.

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Ways professionals can help

Help for violence can involve conversational support to help structure the situation, reflect on one's feelings and thoughts, and clarify personal goals. Through supportive discussions, individuals who have experienced violence can address their challenging experiences and contemplate what they truly want in their own lives. The support by professionals can also include very concrete help, for example, clarifying the financial situation and helping to apply for financial benefits.

A professional in the violence intervention field can also objectively assess whether the home environment is safe. Naturally, this relies on the person experiencing violence being completely honest with the professional. Professionals can aid in escaping abuse to a shelter or other safe place if necessary or assist abusers in changing their behaviour. It is vital to acknowledge that children in abusive households deserve and need help, too. Child protection provides invaluable help in ensuring that the family's children have a safe life.

Asking for help can be intimidating

Some survivors fear the stigma their family might face when seeking help. This fear is often associated with shame and guilt, such as questioning why they were in an abusive relationship. Nevertheless, holding the perpetrators accountable for their crimes is essential to mitigate domestic violence in our society.

Opening up about your situation to an outsider can be scary, and the potential consequences can be frightening. You may worry about the perpetrator becoming angry or child welfare intervening in your family's life. It is beneficial to discuss these fears with a professional. Although these fears are often unfounded, they are understandable. Asking for help can be intimidating also due to the fear that it may result in criminal proceedings. Understandably, criminal proceedings can be lengthy and challenging, adding to the fear factor.

Be assured there is no need to fear or feel guilty or ashamed. Professionals are skilled in assisting individuals who have experienced or committed violence, offering support without judgment. You can chat with AinoAid™ if you'd like to talk about the subject but need more time to be ready to speak with a human. AinoAid™ will do its best to support you.

How to accept help?

Some people manage to overcome difficult life experiences without professional help, but you should never feel ashamed of seeking professional assistance. Professionals exist because they can help prevent domestic violence and address and overcome the harm caused by it. Sometimes, experiences of violence may only surface years later, and it is never too late to seek help.

Accepting help can be challenging. Individuals who have experienced violence may believe they are unworthy of help or that their situation is not as severe as it seems. Or that no one can help. However, every person deserves support; there is help available. Even if you suspect that there might be violence in your life but are uncertain, it is important to seek help to get clarity. Accepting the need for assistance requires openness and sometimes courage.

What if you don't get the help you need?

Unfortunately, there are instances where you may not receive the help you need. It's important to remember that professionals are humans and can make mistakes. Not all professionals have received adequate training to address domestic/intimate partner violence, which is often the reason for the failure to receive help. Understandably, this can make it challenging to seek help persistently. However, knowing everyone has the right to receive assistance is crucial, so keep going.

You can also assert your right to receive help when speaking to a professional. If one professional cannot assist, inquire if their colleague or someone else can guide you to a guaranteed source of help. If you have yet to receive help from the police, social services or other authorities, they might have neglected their duty, and you can make a complaint. For example, if the police haven't registered a criminal report regarding the assault, you have the right to request it. Alternatively, you can file a criminal report, obliging the police to investigate. In cases of violence, you have the right to contact a shelter. Even if you haven't received help from other parties, the shelter staff can guide your situation. It may feel overwhelming, but please don't give up. You are not alone.

Assigning the help you deserve can be frustrating, but it's worth doing. You can contact the social services in your welfare area or city to report domestic violence and for support. Try to provide as concrete and open a description of your situation as possible so that professionals can understand your circumstances and better assess your need for help. Social services will evaluate the need for services and direct you to the appropriate assistance.

How to get started?

Seeking help begins with discussing the matter with someone, a friend, a family member, or a professional. Bringing a friend along when meeting a professional can sometimes be helpful.

Contacting professionals anonymously initially allows one to reflect on the situation with a professional and consider your progress peacefully. It's important to know that professionals are trained to support survivors and offenders without judgment. Contact information for services offered by professionals can be found on the Contact details page.

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