Help a Friend
Step 1: Understand what abuse is.
Dating abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior that often leaves victims feeling isolated and alone.
Step 2: See if there are warning signs that your friend may be in an abusive relationship.
- Does your friend apologize and make excuses for a partner's behavior?
- Does your friend cancel or change plans often?
- Does your friend call and/or text to an extreme?
- Does your friend act fearful of upsetting of angering a partner?
- Does your friend have dramatic changes in weight, appearance, or grades?
- Does your friend have unexplained injuries?
- Does your friend give up hobbies or time with friends and family?
- Does your friend seem to lose confidence in themselves?
- Does your friend have difficulty making decisions?
Step 3: Try these strategies to provide support to a friend in an abusive relationship.
- Listen with patience and compassion, not judgment.
- Let them know that you are concerned for their safety.
- Encourage them to make their own decisions and support them through this difficult process.
- Let your friend know the abuse is not their fault.
- Listen and believe what they tell you.
- Acknowledge your friend's feelings. Don't tell them how they should feel.
- Use I-statements to share your feelings and what you are seeing or hearing. (e.g. "I felt really scared yesterday when I heard him scream at you.")
- Do not judge or make victim-blaming statements like, "You're stupid to stay with him" or "Why do you let her treat you like this?"
- Do not put your friend's partner down or pressure your friend to break up with their partner.
- Offer to help them find a counselor, teacher, or parent they can trust. Offer to go with your friend to speak with them.
- Call our free and helpline for additional suggestions at 1-877-88-JCADA(52232).