What You Can Do

If Somone You Know is Being Abused

  1. Gently ask direct questions. Give her ample opportunity to talk. Ask her "how can I help you?"
     
  2. Listen without judging. Individuals victimized by abuse often believe their abusers' negative messages. They feel responsible, ashamed, inadequate, and are often afraid they will be judged.
     
  3. Let her know that you support and care about her, that she's not responsible for the violence, that only the abuser can stop the violence.
     
  4. Explain that any abuse in a relationship is never acceptable, at any time. There's no excuse for it - not alcohol or drugs, financial pressures, depression, or jealousy.
     
  5. Make sure she knows that she's not alone - that, sadly, millions of American women from every ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic group suffer from abuse and that many find it difficult to end the relationship.
     
  6. Explain that relationship violence is a crime - as much of a crime as robbery or assault - and that the legal system may be a resource for him or her.
     
  7. Let her know that it is likely that, in spite of his promises, the violence will continue and will likely escalate.
     
  8. Emphasize that when she is ready to leave the relationship, she should access the resources of the university and legal system. She will most likely be aware of the danger of leaving, but it is important to talk about it with her and to put her in touch with the proper resources.
     
  9. Provide her with information about local resources: the phone numbers for local domestic violence hotlines, support groups, counseling services, safe house programs, and legal advocacy services. On campus, the Advocates Program and the Sexual Violence Hotline can help you identify resources to help her.
     
  10. Listen to her needs. Help her create an immediate safety plan for addressing each of her needs and encourage her to talk with the Advocates Program Coordinator. If she does not feel safe where she is living, discuss with her the option of moving into a temporary Safe Room on campus. If she is in danger, assure her that she will not have to move permanently as the University is dedicated to removing the perpetrator from the situation, not the survivor.
     
  11. You can contact the Advocates Program Coordinator or a member of the Advocates Program for advice or guidance.
     
  12. If she remains in the relationship, continue to be supportive while at the same time firmly communicating to her that she does not deserve to be in this violent situation.
     
  13. If you see or hear an assault in progress, call Safety & Security, but because these assaults are often dangerous, do not physically intervene.