Helping a Friend with Relationship Violence 

How do you know if your friend is being abused?

  • Have you seen evidence of injuries?

  • Have you accepted her/his explanations for black eyes, bruises or broken bones?

  • Does s/he miss school or work frequently?

  • Does your friend’s partner show an unusual amount of control over her/his life?

  • Have you noticed changes in your friend’s or her/his children's behavior?

  • Does your friend’s partner embarrass or ridicule her/him in public?

  • Does your friend's partner blame her/him for the way s/he acts or the things s/he says?

What You Can Do to Help

Many people in abusive relationships will turn to a trusted friend first.

  • Your friend's first step to safety may be the knowledge that s/he is not alone and not crazy.

  • Let her/him know that many people experience abuse and that there are resources where s/he can get help.


Things to avoid doing

  • Do not criticize the abuser. A victim often has conflicting feelings about the abusive partner, and s/he may become defensive or shut down.

  • Do not confront the abuser. This can result in an escalation of violence against the victim.

  • Do not slip a referral card or any other information about abuse into someone's bag or under a door. If the abuser finds this, it can also escalate the violence against the victim.

  • Do not send a voicemail message or an email message about the abuse to your friend. You do not know if the abuser is monitoring the phone or the computer.