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)