How to help a friend who’s being abused

March 18, 2007 

 • Be a good listener, ask questions delicately and don’t judge.

 • Be careful. Abusers can go after a victim’s allies, too.

 • Watch what you say and do. An abuser might be listening in on phone calls or other conversations and checking the victim’s mail and e-mail. Take care not to say anything that might enrage the abuser.

 • Offer unconditional support. Let your friend know that you will help whenever you’re asked.

 • Learn the signs of domestic violence and ways to cope with it.

 • Gather a list of shelters, agencies and professionals who can help when the victim is ready to seek outside counsel or get away from the abuser.

 • Encourage victims to document injuries.

 • Urge the victim to seek medical attention if he or she has been injured, and to be honest with the medical staff about the injuries.

Sources: City of Tacoma, Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

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