|Don't be afraid to offer help. Here are some basic steps:
Approach her in an understanding nonjudgmental way. Tell her shes
not alone, and that there are many women in similar situations. Tell her
it takes strength to survive and courage to trust someone enough to talk
about the abuse.
Acknowledge that it is scary and difficult to talk about domestic
violence. Tell her she doesn't deserve to be threatened, hi, or beaten.
Nothing she can do or say makes the abuser's violence OK.
Share information. Show her the warning
list, Violence and Non-Violence Wheels, the Cycle of Domestic
Violence. Discuss the dynamics of violence and how abuse is based
on power and control.
Support her. Be a good listener. Encourage her to express her
hurt and anger. Allow her to make her own decisions, even if it means
she isn't ready to leave the abusive relationship.
Ask if shes suffered physical harm. Suggest that she go
to the doctor or emergency room to check for injuries. Help her report
the assault to the police, if she chooses to do so.
Provide information on help available to victims of domestic violence
and their children, including social services, emergency shelter, and
Inform her about legal protection that is available with an Injunction
for Protection. Give her the information she needs to file the petition;
go with her if necessary.
Plan safe strategies for leaving the abusive relationship. Help
her create a safety plan. Never
encourage a person to follow a safety plan that she believes will
put her at further risk. She may not feel comfortable taking the
materials with her.
Helpful and validating things to say to a survivor of domestic violence
- Im afraid for your safety.
- Im afraid for the safety of your children.
- Youre not alone.
- There are options and resources available.
- Were here for you.
- The violence is not your fault. Only your abuser can stop his or her
- There is no excuse for violence.
- Weve learned that domestic violence continues and increases
if there is no intervention.
- It is a crime.
- You deserve better than this. No one deserves to be abused.
Domestic Violence Safety Plan
Are you in an abusive situation?
Warning signs of domestic violence
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