How can you help a friend experiencing abuse?
How to be a supportive friend.
- Never blame them for the abuse - abuse is never the victim’s fault
- Tell them, “It’s not your fault," and "You don’t deserve to be hurt”
- Let them talk, don’t interrupt, and believe them
- Call out the abusive behavior, but don't put down their dating partner. Your friend will likely get defensive and may not feel like you're a safe person to talk to in the future
- Your friend may not be ready to leave their relationship, support their choices
- Show your friend that you are a safe person to talk to and you'll support them with their decisions
- Help them safety plan, and make sure they're safe
- Suggest help and resources for your friend, such as the TAP808, the crisis text line 741-741, or other community resources.
Getting help isn't always easy.
But it's a lot easier knowing you don't have to do it alone.
Warning signs your friend may be in an abusive relationship.
- Lower self esteem/depressed
- Drastically changing their appearance/behavior
- Stops hanging out with friends/family
- Blames themselves for abuse
- Social media presence changes
- Attached to phone when not around partner; afraid to miss text/call
- Sensitive to touch
- Heavy makeup/long clothing to cover up
- Makes excuses for dating partner
- Slacking in responsibility (school, job, etc.)
- Says they can't talk to/hang out with certain people because of their partner