Talk to a loved one about violence
If you suspect a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, talking with them about it can be hard. The most important thing you can do is listen and support whatever decisions they make, but to let them know you will help them as much as possible. Remember, you cannot rescue them from an abusive partner, only the person being abused can make the decision to leave and seek help. If you are unsure if the relationship is violent, make a check list of red flags.
What can you say?
There are a few things you can say to a friend, family member or colleague to let her know it is not her fault and she is not alone.Remember to respect her decision to not talk about it when you do bring it up.
- “It’s not your fault he treats you that way.”
- “I know this is difficult to discuss, but please know you can talk to me about anything.”
- “You are not alone. I care about you and am here for you, no matter what.”
- “You are not responsible for his behavior.”
- “No matter what you did, you do not deserve this.”
Don’t be afraid to tell her that you’re concerned for her safety and the safety of her children.
- “I see what is going on with you and _______ and I want to help.”
- “You don’t deserve to be treated that way. Good husbands and partners don’t say or do those kinds of things.”
- “The way he treats you is wrong. No one should ever hit or threaten someone they love.”
- “I’m worried about your safety and am afraid he’ll really hurt you next time.”
- “Promise me that if you need to talk, you’ll come to me.”
Offer support but do not force the issue. The key is to let her know you are available and you see what is happening.
Encourage her to get help. Suggest ways she can find additional support.
If you need help talking to a friend or would like to know more about our programs for survivors of violence, please call the 24-hour Hotline, 512.267.7233.