Relationship Red Flags
Important Questions to Ask After a Violent Attack
It doesn't take much to see relationship red flags. Inside each of us is an internal censor that goes off when we think there are relationship red flags. There are many important questions to ask the victim after a violent attack from their abusers. Below you will find the most important questions to ask the victim.
The victim may be in crisis mode or suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her thinking may be unclear, and the details of what just took place may be fuzzy. This is normal.
A victim who has recently been through a traumatic event may experience dissociation; the mind puts up a protective shield that hides memories that are too painful for the person to handle.
As you attempt to help the victim remember the events that have taken place, reassure her that she is safe. Once she feels she is in a safe place, you can begin to ask the victim the specific questions about the violence that has occurred.
Understand that the victim may not recall all the details. Her memories could be confused, or only partial.
Often a victim is fearful of sharing everything. If she feels you may not believe her, she may tell you only a small portion of what has happened in order to test you to see if she can trust you. Be patient.
Breaking the silence of domestic violence is extremely difficult and terrifying for a victim. Her batterer has conditioned her to remain quiet and has made it very clear to her that there are consequences if she speaks out.
The relationship red flags questions you ask the victim below are a guideline to helping the victim regain her memories of the violence that has occurred and so you know how to help her. After you ask the victim one or two relationship red flags question allow her plenty of time to think about each question.
Victims who have just experienced trauma tend to be slow to respond, think, and remember. Silence in the room will help her. Her silence may be uncomfortable for you, but it is necessary for her.
Reassure her that there is no rush for her to respond to each answer. The more stress she feels, the more she will “shut down” and be unable to give accurate details.
Relationship Red Flags Questions
- Are you ready to talk about the fight?
- Where were you?
- What time was it?
- *You may need to ask leading questions to jog the memory such as: was it in the morning or evening? Before or after you picked up the children. Before or after dinner?
- Was anyone else present?
- Were the children present? If yes, where in the house?
- Describe the events that led up to the fight.
- Describe his actions.
- Describe his tone of voice.
- Share with me what he said to you.
- Did he hit you, punch you, strike you, or use any type of violence towards you, the children, or pets?
- Do you have any cuts, bruises, sprains, or broken bones on your body right now?
- Do you think you need emergency medical care right now?
- Do your children or pets have any cuts, bruises, sprains, or broken bones on their bodies right now?
- Do you think your children or pets need emergency medical care right now?
- Have you ever had to seek medical care for his violence in the past?
- Have you ever had to seek medical care for his violence to your children or pets in the past?
- Did he break or strike any objects in the house?
- Was he under the influence of any substance? If so, which one?
- Are you afraid of him?
- Has he ever threatened you with abuse?
- Has he ever threatened to kill you, himself, or the children?
- Are you afraid that if he finds out you came to me that you or the children will be in danger? If so, what kind of danger?
- Are you concerned about your safety right now? Are you concerned about the children’s safety?
- Does he have a history of violence?
- Was he abused as a child?
- Would you be willing to stay in a safe place tonight?
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