Look ahead, you are not expected to complete the task. Neither are you permitted to lay it down.

- The Talmud

How to help someone you know who is abused:

If you know someone who is – or might be – battered, your support is important.

So, the question is, how do I support her? What do you do if you think someone you know is abused?

Jumping in to say too much (Your shouldn’t put up with it; if you don’t break up with him then I’m not going to help you) might come from a place of caring or frustration, but will not help her.

On the flip side, not saying anything (it’s a private matter; you don’t know what to say) can make her feel like you wouldn’t be interested.

Let her know you are there for her…and then listen. Simply listen. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do. And when someone begins to open up, you don’t need to have all the answers (or any answer) because battering is complicated and there is no one answer.

Battering is about her abuser having power and control and making her feel like she’s losing her sense of reality. Help her to hold on to her truth by listening.

Phrases that are helpful include:

“What’s it like for you?” - to help her talk about it and help you understand it.

“It’s not your fault” - a big part of battering is him blaming her for his behavior

“It sounds like you are in a tough situation” - this validates how complicated and difficult it is to help her begin to unravel the many threads of the abuse.

“You’re a strong person” - she may not feel strong but she is. Surviving abuse takes incredible strength.

Then, you can give her our hotline number – 704-788-2826.

You are also welcome to call to talk more about options. A trained advocate is here 24 hours a day 365 days a year to talk. And our Outreach Center is open By Appointment to talk in person.

From: Elaine Weiss Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women who Broke Free

How do we as individuals and as a broader community say domestic violence is unacceptable?

5 Things You Can Do to Make an Impact

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