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Help a Friend

If you have a friend that is in need of support and resources, click here. If you are looking for some tips about how to respond to a friend who has told you they are in an abusive relationship, see the information below. You can also call HAVEN for additional suggestions on how to support your friend.

Dark Times

Is your friend in an abusive relationship? The National Center for Victims of Crime developed a tip sheet (Click here) on how to support a friend in an abusive relationship. The below information is adapted from them.

Things that can help...

  • Let your friend know you care.
  • Try to stay calm.  Remember that your friend will be aware of your reactions.
  • Don't judge your friend.
  • Just listen - Let your friend vent and don't try to have answers for everything. 
  • Understand that your friend might have mood swings
  • Give your friend time to heal.  Don't expect your friend to "snap out of it" quickly.
  • Help find other people who can help - other friends, teachers, coaches, and family who can support your friend
  • Don't confront the person who hurt your friend.  Though you might want to fix the situation or get back at them, this could make things worse, for you and your friend.

Good things to say

  • Nothing you did (or didn't do) makes you deserve this.
  • I'm glad you told me.
  • How can I help you feel safer?
  • I'm proud of you.
  • This happens to other people.  Would it help to talk to someone who specializes in abusive relationships?
  • I believe you.
  • I'll support your decisions.

Things not to say

  • This wouldn't have happened if you hadn't (had)....
  • I told you not to: go to that party, date that person, hang out with those people.
  • Just forget it ever happened.
  • Get over it.
  • This is private.  Don't tell anyone what happened.
  • Try not to think about it.
  • I want to kill the person who hurt you. 



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