Are You Concerned That Somone You Know is Being Abused 

Many people know someone who they suspect is being abused, yet don't know what to do or say to help. It can be difficult, especially because many survivors keep the abuse a secret and many abusers seek to exert power and control over their partners. A person living with an abuser may show some or all of these warning signs.

Your friend or family member may be living with abuse if the person:

  • Seems afraid
  • Avoids conversations about their relationship
  • Is increasingly isolated from friends and family
  • Makes excuses for visible bruises
  • Wears clothes that cover extremities
  • Seems anxious to return home
  • Becomes defensive when confronted with negative feedback about partner
  • Is unusually self-blaming

What to do:

  • Express concern in a non-judgmental manner
  • Describe your areas of concern
  • Stress that you understand and want to provide support
  • Ask open ended questions; do not interrogate
  • Emphasize the person's strengths
  • Trust that the person knows what is safe for her/him
  • Listen without interrupting
  • Do not confront the abusive partner without the person's permission
  • Provide support numbers of local domestic violence organization or the national hotline