Domestic violence affects everyone, and it hurts us all. What can you do to help someone who is being abused or battered?
Helping someone you know who is in an abusive relationship can be one of the most difficult things you ever do, and it is not always easy. But supporting someone who is being abused can help save a life, and there are ways you can provide support without contributing to the danger.
What can I do if someone I care about is being abused?
Some things YOU CAN DO are:
- Refer them to Day One. If you'd like to refer a young person for legal or social services regarding dating abuse, please click here to download our Client Referral Form.
- Listen and acknowledge that the abuse are in a very difficult and scary situation.
- Encourage the person to talk about the situation with a trusted adult or professional.
- Help develop a safety plan. You can find more information about developing a safety plan in our Help Yourself section.
- Learn more about domestic violence. The more you know, the better you can help someone you care about.
Some things NOT TO DO:
- Blame the victim for the abuse. Domestic violence is NEVER the victim's fault.
- Force or pressure someone to leave a relationship if she or he is not ready to, or does not want to leave.
- Share what is happening with someone else if your friend has asked you not to. Use your best judgment if you think someone's life is in danger. But be sure to tell your friend what you are doing.
- Assume the person is fine after the relationship is over. She or he will probably feel sad, lonely, and confused, and you should continue to provide support.
- Make your friend feel bad for any decisions.
- Forget to check yourself. If you find yourself becoming very frustrated or upset the situation, know when to take a time out or step back. Be honest about this with your friend.
What if someone I know is being abusive?
Encourage the person to talk to someone about it immediately. Help explain why the actions are wrong, and encourage the person to take steps to stop. Remember, committing acts of domestic violence is a choice.
For more information on what you can do to prevent domestic violence, or how to help someone who is in an abusive relationship, call Day One at 1.800.214.4150. For a printable version of this information, please see Helpful Tips and Guides.