Five Ways To Support a Woman in Crisis
Since last month, all news feeds have been flooded with the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion. Frankly, it is overwhelming because it does feel like there’s a focus to pit one side against the other. I do wonder if there is space to be BOTH an advocate for the unborn and an advocate for women. Most (not all) women who consider an abortion are in a crisis as they are anxious and scared. These women need your support. Here are FIVE ways you can provide a safe space of support for a woman in crisis:
1. Remain Calm
Depending on your relationship with the woman in crisis, this may be tough to do. If the news is fresh, take the time you need to process things. Watch your words and your tone as speaking during high emotion may invite moments we may regret.
‘A soft answer turns away anger’- Proverbs 15
Revealing an unplanned pregnancy takes courage. The last thing a woman needs is to be shamed. If you are offering support, please resist the urge to take over the conversation. Your job when offering support is to listen with empathy. Being listened to offers a profound degree of emotional safety. It also creates space for clarity of thought.
‘Seek first to understand then to be understood’- Steven Covey
3. Ask Questions
With an environment of calm, emotional safety and listening; trust is established. With trust, the person providing support has the permission to begin asking questions. This further helps to diffuse the fear and anxiety the woman is feeling. This also helps to begin exploring options.
‘Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.’ – Bob Vanourek
4. Seek Help
If you are reading this, chances are you are not a licensed counselor, health care provider, or social worker. If that’s true, you don’t have to go it alone. There are confidential resources out there to help women in crisis. Many of these resources are free of charge. Find one in your area here.
‘Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration...’ – Tim Gunn
5. Rinse and Repeat
You have been called to support this person for reason. Your support needs to be intentional, ongoing, and seasoned with love. This support can look like more conversations, going to the health care provider together, financial support, or maybe opening your home for a period of time.
“A best friend is the only one that walks into your life when the world has walked out.” — Shannon L. Alder
Those are my suggestions. I’d love to know how this resonates with you. Have you been called to support a woman in crisis? What additional suggestions would you add?
Are you a woman in crisis in need of support? If you have no one to turn to and need immediate support, you can be connected to a local pregnancy resource center. Call 877-791-5475