Supporting Others

Do you know someone that may be in an abusive relationship?

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Are you concerned that a friend or loved one is experiencing abuse? Here’s what to look for:

  • Hiding bruises

    Attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing.

  • Making excuses

    Making excuses like tripping or being accident-prone or clumsy. Often the seriousness of the injury does not match up with the explanation.

  • Few close friends

    Having few close friends and being isolated from relatives and coworkers.

  • Have to ask permission

    Having to ask permission to meet, talk with or do things with other people.

  • Having little money available

    Having no access to money, credit cards or even a car.

  • Low self-esteem

    Having low self-esteem and being extremely apologetic or meek.

  • Referring to partner’s temper

    Referring to the partnerโ€™s temper, but not disclosing the extent of the abuse.

  • Drug or alcohol abuse

    Having a drug or alcohol abuse problem.

  • Having symptoms of depression

    Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness, hopelessness or loss of interest in daily activities.

  • Talking about suicide

    Talking about and/or attempting suicide and/or showing other warning signs of suicide.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Affirm the survivor.

    Validate their strengths by acknowledging their efforts to keep self/children safe.

  • Listen.

    Be present during the conversation without interruption or judgement.

  • Do not involve the children by questioning or interrogating them.

    If your home is designated as a space to escape or to spend the night, allow them space.

  • Check in with the survivor (text, call, or knock).

    Just chat about other things unrelated to the control and/or violence until the survivor lets you know that it is safe to talk.

  • Refrain from using cliches and victim-blaming questions.

    Examples include: “What did you do?” “Why are you still there?” “Why haven’t you left?”

  • Be part of the safety plan.

    Keep it confidential with the understanding of when the survivor wants you to check in on them or reach out for help.