Sometimes friends and family give women, who have experienced abuse, ultimatums. For example, “If you move back in with him, I won’t talk to you anymore.” Often when friends and family do this, they think that they are doing some version of “tough love”. Perhaps they are not doing a good job of managing their own fear and so they are trying to take control of the situation to lower their own anxiety about the woman’s safety. Taking such a position with a woman is never helpful. It typically puts her in an impossible situation and leaves her even more isolated. It also means that the friend or family member is behaving somewhat like the partner – very controlling. The woman does not need more controlling people in her life! Women, experiencing abuse need to be given choice. It is one thing their partner does not give them. They need to be respected as the experts on their own life and understood to be making the best decisions they can, at the time, with the options before them.