Help a Friend
STEP 1: Understand what abuse is.
Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior that often leaves victims feeling isolated and alone.
STEP 2: See if there are warning signs that your friend may be in an abusive relationship.
Does your friend . . .
- apologize and make excuses for a partner's behavior?
- cancel or change plans often?
- call and/or text to an extreme?
- act fearful of upsetting of angering a partner?
- have dramatic changes in weight, appearance, or grades?
- have unexplained injuries?
- give up hobbies or time with friends and family?
- seem to lose confidence in themselves?
- have difficulty making decisions?
STEP 3: Try these strategies to provide support to a friend in an abusive relationship.
- Listen with patience and compassion, not judgment.
- Let them know that you are concerned for their safety.
- Encourage them to make their own decisions and support them through this difficult process.
- Let your friend know the abuse is not their fault.
- Listen and believe what he/she tells you.
- Acknowledge your friend's feelings. Don't tell him/her how he or she should feel.
- Let them know if you are concerned for their safety.
- Use I-statements to share your feelings and what you are seeing or hearing. (e.g. "I felt really scared yesterday when I heard him scream at you.")
- Do not judge or make victim-blaming statements like "You're stupid to stay with him" or "Why do you let her treat you like this?"
- Do not put your friend's partner down or pressure your friend to break up with his/her partner.
- Offer to help him/her find a counselor, teacher, or parent he/she can trust. Offer to go with him/her to speak with them.
- Call JCADA's helpline for additional suggestions at 1-877-88-JCADA(52232)