What to say (and what not to say) to abuse survivors

So a friend comes to you for advice. She/he/they reveals that they’ve been experiencing verbal put-downs, manipulation, and controlling behavior from their significant other. What do you say in response in order to help your friend and not make the situation worse? There has been a pervasive, and I believe, damaging cultural narrative that advises…

Talking about being victimized isn’t “victim mentality”

When I was in grad school, I met a woman about my age who was wrestling with childhood abuse she’d never dealt with before. Clinical psychology programs have a way of doing that–teasing out whatever unhealed wounds are still hiding from the light. One day in a class discussion about abuse, someone began loudly proclaiming…