Help a Friend

Do you know someone in a relationship who is being abused by their partner? Here are some ways you can help provide support:

  • Understand why your friend might stay in an abusive relationship. Here are some common reasons:
    • Economic dependence on the abuser;
    • Fear for their safety and the safety of their children;
    • Isolation;
    • Low self-esteem;
    • Lack of options and resources;
    • Health issues; and
    • Beliefs about family and marriage.
  • Educate yourself so that you understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Familiarize yourself with our website and check out our resources page.
  • Approach her or him about the abuse in a sensitive way. Let your friend know you are willing to listen and give emotional support.
  • Listen and believe what your friend tells you. Don’t ask blaming questions such as "What did you do to provoke him/her?"
  • Empathize — put yourself in your friend's place.
  • Focus on your friend and his/her thoughts and needs, not the abuser.
  • Trust what your friend says, and let him or her know that you can be trusted.
  • Support your friend's decisions. It is empowering to know that someone trusts your judgment and believes in your ability to find solutions to a problem.
  • Call the police if you witness an assault.
  • Refer your friend to Between Friends for free, confidential services.

Here are some ways that you can help an abuser:

  • Tell your friend clearly that violent behavior is not okay.
  • Offer to go with him or her to get help.
  • Be a role model for healthy relationships- treat your partner with respect!
  • Call the police when you witness an assault. The abuser may be required to get counseling.

For confidential support, call Between Friends' Crisis Hotline at (800) 603-HELP.

800-603-HELP(4357) Crisis Hotline
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