Someone I Know Is Being Abused

What should I do?

Often times, it is difficult to know “when” or “if” it is appropriate to reach out to a suspected victim of domestic violence.

The answer is…ALWAYS!

The violence will not end until someone takes action to stop it. In addition, your support and encouragement can be of tremendous value to a family member or friend involved in an abusive relationship.

How can I help?

  • Become informed. Gather as much DV information as you can. Call our hotline number for your county for assistance.
  • Focus on their strengths. Always give positive reinforcement and emotional support. “It’s not your fault.”
  • Lend an empathetic ear. Let them know that you are willing to listen. Do not force the issue or judge decisions.
  • Be a friend in deed. Provide assistance when you can for help with moving, childcare, transportation, etc.
  • Support the victim’s decisions. Don’t blame the victim or try to change their mind. Do not offer advice. “You should…”
  • Help them understand the danger. Explain to them that abuse does not occur in all relationships.
  • Protect the victim’s confidentiality. Keep all information confidential. Never confront the abuser without victim approval, as it may further jeopardize their safety.
  • If you are concerned for their safety, let them know! If you notice an injury, inquire about it. Be sure to speak privately to ensure safety.
  • Guide them to community services. Share any information that you have gathered including the hotline number for your county.
  • Help them develop a safety plan. Make a list of emergency contacts. Develop resources and ideas for difficult issues.

Serving Washington, Greene, and Fayette counties in Pennsylvania.

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