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How to Help a Friend

If you know someone who is being abused by a partner, you can help her by showing that you care. Here are some ways to let a friend or family member know that you care:

Ask your friend if someone is hurting her. Many people think that victims of domestic violence don’t want to talk about their abuse, but often victims are eager for someone to notice that something is wrong and ask about their situation.

Let her know that you believe what she tells you. Reassure her that she is not to blame for her abuse.

Acknowledge that she is in a potentially scary and dangerous situation. Encourage her to contact her local domestic violence program for advice about safety planning. In Georgia, you can call 1-800-33HAVEN to reach the closest shelter 24 hours a day. Advice is free and confidential.

Be supportive and nonjudgmental. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. These reasons vary widely but might include economic barriers, desire to raise children in a two-parent home, shame and fear of leaving.