For Women

How to Help a Friend Who is in an Abusive Relationship?

  • Talk to your friend and be nonjudgmental when discussing the abuse.
  • Listen to your friend and believe him/her.
  • Let your friend know that violence under any circumstance is unacceptable.
  • Express your understanding, care, concern and support.
  • Point out your friend’s strengths. He or she may not see his or her own abilities and gifts due to the effects of the abuse.
  • Encourage your friend to confide in a trusted adult. Offer to go with him or her for help.
  • Talk to a trusted adult if you believe your friend’s situation is getting worse.
  • Never put yourself in a dangerous situation by being a mediator.
  • Call the police if you witness an assault.

Things Not to Say or Do

  • Don’t be critical of your friend or his/her partner.
  • Don’t ask blaming questions such as: What did you do to provoke him/her? Why don’t you just break up with him/her?
  • Don’t assume that your friend wants to break up with their partner, or act like you know what is best for them.
  • Don’t pressure your friend to make quick decisions. They need to figure things out at their own pace.

(Teen Dating Violence, CVPC, Office of the Attorney General)