Help a Friend
Five Simple Powerful Things to Say to Victims of Domestic Violence
1. You don’t deserve to be treated this way.
2. I am afraid for your safety.
3. I am afraid for the safety of your children.
4. There is help available.
5. I am here for you when you want to get help.
Recommend by Survivor and Advocate Sarah Buel. Adapted by Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack.
Tips on How to help a Friend who’s in an Abusive Relationship
1. Tell them it’s not their fault.
2. Tell them they don’t deserve it.
3. Tell them they’re not crazy.
4. Don’t try to pretend that the abuse isn’t happening, or that it isn’t that bad.
5. Tell them good things about themselves. Let them know you think they’re smart, strong, and brave. Their abuser is telling them they are stupid and tearing down their self-esteem.
6. Try to help your friend break out of the isolation their abuser has put them in. Keep in contact with them on the phone or by going out with them.
7. Don’t spread gossip - it could put them in danger.
8. Don’t try to make them do anything they don’t want to.
9. Encourage them to build a wide support system.
10. Don’t blame them for the abuse or their decisions; leaving an abusive relationship is hard and usually takes a long time.
Adapted from Women’s Rural Advocacy Program, “The Basics of Being Supportive” at www.letswrap.com and enhanced by members of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and the National Family Justice Center Alliance internet for training.