Helping someone you know;
Help your friend recognize the abuse:
Ask questions and acknowledge the abuse that is happening to them. Help your friend to see it is not normal and that they don’t deserve to be treated that way. Tell them it will probably escalate and get worse.
Validate your friend’s feelings and listen to what they want, even if you don’t agree with it. If your friend wants to stay in the relationship, or goes back and forth about it, try not to tell her that she is wrong. Tell her that you are worried about her safety and self-respect. Don’t give your friend ultimatums, it may make them feel like they can’t trust you or that you wont be there to support them. Help your friend recognize the abuser’s excuses for being violent (which blame the victim).
Help your friend with safety plans:
Help your friend focus on staying safe. Having a safety plan can help save lives when moments count.
If your friend breaks up with the abuser, keep up the support:
Keep in close contact with your friend, they may be feeling lonely, scared, embarrassed or angry. Your friend may want to get back together with her abuser. She may miss them or not feel strong enough to resist any pressure the abuser is putting on her. The risk of violence in often increased after the victim leaves her abuser, it is important to still be vigilant with safety precautions.
Help your friend talk to adults to get help if she is a minor:
Talk with your friend about telling parents or other trusted adults. Provide her with resources of local organizations that could help. If she won’t talk to an adult, then you must find an adult you trust to talk to about it. Ask your parents or a school counselor, nurse, or administrator. Ask the adult to help, to reach out, to intervene. Talk to your friend’s parents about what is happening to your friend. Don’t assume that your friend’s parents know about the abuse.
If you become frightened or frustrated, get support from friends and family members or other adults:
Educate yourself about dating violence. You can’t rescue your friend by yourself. But with support from other resources, family or friends, you can calmly support your friend as she deals with the violence in her life.