What You Can Do to Help A Friend Who is Being Abused:
- Say something. Lend a listening ear. Tell your friend that you care and are willing to listen. Don’t force the issue, but allow your friend to confide in you at her/his own pace. Never blame your friend for what is happening or underestimate her/his fear of potential danger. Focus on supporting your friend’s right to make her/his own decisions.
- Talk with a trusted adult (parent, teacher, guidance counselor, or clergy member). You cannot solve this problem for your friend. Talk with a trusted adult. They will be able to decide how to approach your friend, her/his family or your school to get the necessary help.
- Call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 for information and guidance
- If your friend decides to end the relationship, help her/him make a plan to be safe. S/he may want to create a “safety plan”. Victims of dating violence may face the greater risk when they try to end the abusive relationship. If the abusive person feels s/he has lost control, s/he may become very dangerous.
- Focus on her/his strengths. Your friend has probably continually been told by the abusive person that s/he is a bad person, a bad student, or a bad friend. Your friend may believe s/he can’t do anything right and that there really is something wrong with her/him. Give her/him emotional support. Help her/him examine her/his strengths and skills. Emphasize that s/he deserves a life that is free from violence.