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Help a Friend

You might think that something as simple as talking to a friend about abuse couldn’t possibly make a difference, but it really does.

If you think a friend or loved one is being abused, talk to her about it. Listen to her. Let her know you care. You don’t have to be an expert. You just need to be a friend. Just knowing that someone cares enough to ask about the abuse can break through the wall of isolation that can exist around victims of relationship abuse.

If your friend reveals something, or you have seen or heard about things going on in their relationship that concern you, it can be overwhelming but these phrases can help:

What if She Decides to Remain in the Relationship?

Sometimes it can be frustrating when a friend returns to a batterer or stays in an abusive relationship. It is important to understand that there are many reasons for these decisions.

Just like ending any relationship is a process, leaving an abusive relationship takes time.

In many cases, the victim fears for her life. She may also want her children to grow up with both parents, and feel guilty, believing that the abuse is her fault. Sometimes a victim’s self-esteem is so damaged by the abuse that she thinks she can’t make it on her own. Or she may just want the violence to end, not the relationship. Whatever the reason for her decision to stay in the relationship, there are many ways you can help.

How to help a friend who might be abusing his/her partner?

Additional Resources:

What You Can Do Flier

National Domestic Violence Hotline

How to Help A Friend

WebMD