The definition of Tough Love is to reflect and consolidate learning by enforcing restraints for one to take responsibility for their life. When a domestic violence victim is asking for help or some type of direction, that is that beginning of them taking responsibility for their life. Getting out of the situation or getting away from the abuser is the first step to survival.
In my opinion, Tough Love only works for someone who has received so much love (emotionally, physically or materially) from people, they start abusing the ones who are showing them love. They begin to have no regard for other people’s feelings and act as if they are entitled.
Tough Love for domestic violence victims, from my standpoint, is no different than the love victims received from their abuser. In most cases, the victim will begin to look at themselves and wonder what is wrong with me? They may seek healthy love but received the total opposite of what they were originally trying to achieve. There could be a chance they never knew what a healthy love relationship was in the first place.
Domestic Violence Victims are already ashamed because they feel like everyone knows, everyone is laughing and talking about them behind their backs. So to reach out for help can be overwhelming enough then to be further put down about being a victim will only cause them to remain in a victimized state.
Through demonstrating Self Love there could be a chance for us to reach the victim. What a “tough lover” would enforce on someone, they can simply give to themselves. Be the Example. We don’t have to brag about all of the goodness in our lives, it will show on it’s own. Be available and visible to the victim. When the victim is ready to know how you are doing what you are doing, they will come on their own. When they ask, that’s when it will be okay to give your advice or assistance.
To remain on a positive note it would be best to stay away from pointing fingers, the blame game, coulda shoulda wouldas or even getting emotional about whatever your view may be about the victim.
My “tough lover” was a family member. Although now that I am older, I know they only did what they thought was best. What they didn’t know is their “tough love” knocked me further into the hole I was already in. I believed at the end of the day something was wrong with me, I didn’t know how to love properly. It led me to only expect punishment after punishment. After I got away from the situation, admitting I was wrong was hard enough. Then to constantly be reminded of how I got to where I was at that moment did not help me evolve. My experience helped me to be a great resource and source of support for victims seeking survival.
To sincerely be there for the victim, it is best to have a clear head and heart. Be present with them. Listen to them and only put your 2 cents in when asked. Allow them the time needed to figure out what they have to do for themselves. From there, all we can do is show as much support as we can.
I hope this is helpful to someone. Until Next Time…Keep Shining & Take Care!!