How to Help a Person Experiencing Abuse

How to Help a Person Experiencing Abuse

1. Start by believing the person being abused. Listen without judgment or giving advice.

2. Do not pressure the person being abused to break up with their abusive partner. This may put the person being abused in more danger.

3. Do not put the abusive partner down. This may make the person being abused reluctant to speak with you again.

4. Recognize and accept the feelings of the person being abused without telling them how they should feel.

5. Avoid victim-blaming statements such as, "Why do you stay with them?" "How could you love someone like that?" or "Why do you let them treat you like that?"

6. Do not place conditions on your support, such as by making statements like, "I can only help you if you leave."

7. Respect the decisions made by the person being abused, even if you do not agree.

8. Do not confront or attack the abusive partner. This may increase the risk for the person experiencing abuse.

9. Encourage the person experiencing abuse to get help when they are ready. Let them know about the Family Justice Center where they can go to receive free and confidential information and services.

10. Get information on relationship abuse and share it with the person being abused, if they want it. View our Programs page to learn more about available resources.

11. Call 311 to be connected to the New York City 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline anonymously to find out what you can do to help and to learn more about resources available. Call 911 if you witness physical violence.


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