For Family and Friends

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up!

If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life. Talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that have made you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he or she feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him or her know that you’ll help in any way you can.

Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

The Do's and Dont's

Do:
  • Trust their knowledge
  • Express concern
  • Listen and validate
  • Learn about community resources
  • Support their decisions
Don't:
  • Criticize the abuser
  • Judge or blame
  • Pressure her/him
  • Give advice
  • Place conditions on your support

 

How You Can Help

 

Understand Abuse

Abuse is never the victim's fault.

Recognize the Signs

While abuse can look different in every case, certain behaviors are red flags that abuse might be present.

Understand Why They Stay

Fear, hope, love, and financial reasons are some examples of barriers to leaving

How to Help After They Leave

Safety Planning