Terrorism is a harsh reality, even in the modern world where people are liberal and open-minded. But terrorist acts continue to affect millions of people every year. According to statistics, 10,172 terrorist attacks were recorded globally in 2020 alone. And the numbers run in thousands every year.
How can you forget the 9/11 attack that hit the US decades ago when it comes to terrorism? It was proof that even the safest countries are vulnerable. And the terror lives on as victims still relive the memories of the harrowing experience every day.
You’ll know the pain if a loved one has been through such an act of violence. Victims cannot cope with the trauma alone, and they need support all the time. If you have a loved one dealing with the aftermath of a terror attack, here are a few ways to help them. So, if you’re ready to learn how to be there for someone you love, let’s get started!
Listen more, speak less
A traumatic experience is hard to deal with, but everyone has a coping strategy. Maybe, your loved one wants to bottle up, or they may want to talk about the event. You’ve got to do some active listening instead of interrupting or trying to fix things for them.
They may actually want someone to hear them out rather than offer suggestions. Let them express themselves and validate their emotions. Also, show empathy and understanding toward their experiences. It’s the best thing you can do for your person.
Be there but avoid being pushy
Victims often feel overwhelmed in the aftermath of a terror attack. They may be unsure of what to do and how to deal with their emotions. You can do your bit by letting them know that you’re there for them. But give them space instead of being too pushy, even if you have good intentions.
Do not force them to talk about their feelings or give unsolicited advice. Try to do small things such as inviting them out to do something or watching a movie. Normalcy breeds comfort, so give it to them!
Offer practical help
It’s the best thing you can do for a loved one who is directly impacted by the attack, such as being severely injured or sick. There may be several practical things to help. Offer to drive them to medical appointments, help with household chores, or bring them meals.
Some victims can claim compensation for their suffering, but it’s a long legal process. For example, 9/11 victims require legal support from 9/11 lawyers to seek financial damages for their long-term illnesses and injuries. You can help by finding a lawyer, accompanying them for meetings, and getting documentation for the claim.
Encourage them to seek counseling support
The implications of a terror attack go beyond physical injuries and suffering. Victims often struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues such as PTSD. The best way to address them is by seeking professional help, but people often go into denial mode.
Encourage them to see a therapist and seek treatment for their mental health issues. Remind them that seeking help is a sign of strength, so they shouldn’t hesitate about it.
Keep things normal
Of course, family members must acknowledge what a loved one is going through after a terror attack. But they should also try to maintain a sense of normalcy in their life after the incident. Yes, the experience can be a turning point, but your support can make a difference.
Encourage the victim to continue doing the activities they enjoy, and invite them to social events where they can meet others. Having a sense of routine can help your loved one feel more grounded. They may eventually overcome the pain and trauma.
Steer clear of triggering topics
Going through a terror attack is stressful. The worst part is that the memories live with a victim. Every time they see or hear something simple, the memories flood back and consume them. Why not try to steer clear of such triggering topics?
For example, avoid talking about death or violence if a victim lost a loved one in the event. Be sensitive to their unspoken needs and give them a chance to lead conversations or choose things they want to see on TV.
Supporting a loved one affected by a terror attack is not easy. You’ve got to be compassionate and empathic. And remember that every person is different when it comes to coping mechanisms. Give them the freedom to cope their way and play a supportive role. That’s all you need to do!
This is a Sponsored Post – the author has requested this post be shared on WE Magazine for Women and WE were compensated for sharing.