Information for Concerned Friends & Family Members
Every year, millions of domestic violence victims suffer from the horrors of abuse alone. Having been isolated by their abusers from friends and family, many are disconnected from sources of support, strength and safety. By reaching out to your friend or family member and breaking the silence, you can make a difference.
Recognizing Abuse: Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
Does your friend's or family member's partner:
- Control and criticize them in front of others?
- Violently lose their temper?
- Act extremely jealous?
- Constantly check up on them?
Does your friend or family member:
- Become quiet or intimidated around their partner?
- Have unexplained injuries or bruises?
- Dismiss the abuse as "not a big deal?"
- Fear upsetting their partner?
Ways You Can Help
If you think that a friend or loved one is being abused, talk to them about it. Just knowing that someone cares can break through the wall of isolation.
Believe what they are saying and validate their feelings. Help them realize the abuse was not their fault. Let them know they are not alone.
- Discuss Safety
Explain that domestic violence is a crime. Discuss legal options such as Orders of Protection which can require the abuser to stay away from the victim. Children, family members, and employers can also be included on the Order of Protection.
Understand that they should be the only one making decisions regarding their life.While we may think we know what is best, the healing process begins when victims regain control over their own lives. Provide referrals to helpful support services such as the Domestic Violence HelpLine.
- Educate Yourself
Familiarize yourself on the dynamics of domestic violence. Help your friend or family member see that abuse occurs when one partner attempts to maintain power and control over the other.
- Call the HelpLine
Call the Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence HelpLine (1.877.863.6338) and/or encourage the victim to call. Share the HelpLine number in a discreet way.