How to Help a Friend Who's Being Abused

Suzanne Murray

how to help an abused friend domestic violence

It's hard when you suspect that someone you care about is being battered. You want to help, but she hasn't confided in you. What can you do?

Kimberlina Kavern, a director at Safe Horizon, a victim assistance program has this advice.

1. Listen to her. The most important thing you can do is to let her know you're a safe person to confide in. Tell her that if there's anything she wants to talk to you about, you will be non-judgmental and supportive.

2. Offer to be part of her safety plan. Give her a place to store extra clothes and cash.

3. Give her an old cell phone. Even if it's not in service, she'll be able to dial 911.

4. Suggest she make copies of important documents (bank account information, social security cards, birth certificates and passports).

5. Don't get frustrated. It can be difficult to watch if your friend keeps going back to the guy who hurt her, but try not to get angry or annoyed with her. Always keep in mind that her safety is your priority and continue to help her.

Do you have any suggestions for how to help an abused friend?

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