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Help a Loved One

If you are concerned that someone you care about is being abused in their relationship, there is help.

Our domestic violence helpline is not just for those experiencing the abuse themselves. Anyone can call to talk with a domestic violence advocate to learn more about what domestic violence is and what services are available.

It's important to remember these things:

  • It is up to the person being abused to decide whether or not they are ready to leave the relationship.
  • No one should ever be forced to call a domestic violence hotline or take materials from DVSSP if they are not comfortable.
  • Survivors are often looking for support and options, not judgement and advice.
  • Leaving a relationship is a process, and survivors need support each step of the way.
  • It could be unsafe to confront the partner who is abusive. Talk with the survivor about what they believe is and isn't safe to do.
  • You are not alone. DVSSP is here to help! Contact our helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-791-4000.

Oftentimes, it is difficult to know “when” or “if” it is appropriate to reach out to someone who is experiencing domestic violence.

The answer is…it is ALWAYS a good time to help! 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 domestic violence information as you can. Visit our brochures page to learn more about domestic violence and the services DVSSP has to offer.
  • Focus on their strengths, offering positive reinforcement and emotional support. Saying something like "It's not your fault" or "Nobody deserves to be treated this way" can go a long way in helping a survivor feel heard and supported.
  • 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 survivor’s decisions. Don’t blame 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 survivor’s confidentiality. Keep all information confidential. Never confront the person who is abusive without 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 helpline number for your county.
  • Help them develop a safety planMake a list of emergency contacts. Develop resources and ideas for difficult issues.
  • Inform them about safety online. You can learn more on our tech safety page. (link to tech safety)
24/7 Helpline1-800-791-4000