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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;
- 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.