Start by believing the person being abused. Listen without judgment or giving advice.
Do not pressure the person being abused to break up with their abusive partner. This may put the person being abused in more danger.
Do not put the abusive partner down. This may make the person being abused reluctant to speak with you again.
Recognize and accept the feelings of the person being abused without telling them how they should feel.
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?"
Do not place conditions on your support, such as by making statements like, "I can only help you if you leave."
Respect the decisions made by the person being abused, even if you do not agree.
Do not confront or attack the abusive partner. This may increase the risk for the person experiencing abuse.
Encourage the person experiencing abuse to get help when they are ready.
Get information on relationship abuse and share it with the person being abused, if they want it. For example, let them know about NYC Hope, the City's online resource directory where they can find NYC Family Justice Centers and other neighborhood resources to get free and confidential information and services.
Call the New York City 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 (1-800-321-HOPE) anonymously to find out what you can do to help and to learn more about available resources.