Abuse...What Can You Do for Your Friend?
Believe them. If your friend tells you that he/she has been abused listen and believe.
Suspend judgment and don’t blame them for the abuse. No one deserves to have been abused.
Validate their feelings. Abuse is awful, embarrassing and hurtful. Your friend may fear being perceived as “crazy” and as a result probably won’t tell you the whole story.
Let them know you care. Abuse can be very isolating.
Safety. First. Last. And Always. If the abuse is ongoing, help them find a safe place to go.
Simple things matter. Let them use your phone to make calls. Baby-sit the children if you are able.
Assault at any age is a crime. If you suspect abuse is occurring call 911. You can make an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services if a child is involved.
Don’t tell another friend what you have been told in confidence. If the abuser hears that others know of the abuse, the violence could escalate.
Speak Out. Make strong statements against violence to your friends and acquaintances. An abused or battered person who hears these statements may be encouraged to get help.
Know who to call. Crisis Hot Lines in your area are listed in the phone book. In addition there are National Help Lines listed on the Internet. Child Help and Voices International offer Hot Line help.