For Concerned Others
How to help an individual in an abusive relationship:
- Talk, listen, respect and be emotionally available.
- Accept the fact that the assault/abuse has happened or is happening.
- Understand that it is not the individual's fault.
- Listen nonjudgmentally.
- Suggest options and actions (medical, psychological, and other assistance such as childcare, financial options, shelter, and safety planning), but let him/her decide what action to take.
- Let him/her talk about the abuse, but don't force a discussion.
- Take the initiative to maintain communications with the survivor.
- Do not attempt to moderate between the individual and their abuser.
- Moderate your natural tendencies to become overprotective.
- Offer shelter if possible, but know and communicate your limits about your own safety and needs.
- Don’t minimize the abuse that has occurred.
- Understand that the individual could be in more danger if they are to leave the relationship, and that this decision is often the most complicated decision to make.
- Do not blame yourself. The only person who is at fault is the person who committed the harm.
- Educate yourself on relationship violence and services available.
- Talk with people you can trust and take care of your own emotional/physical health.
Need Additional Help?
Contact the Oasis Program or Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.