Here are some of the ways you can help when you recognize the warning signs of abuse:
- Talk to her about what you see and assure her that you are concerned. Tell her you believe her and that it is not her fault.
- Encourage her not to confront her partner if she is planning to leave. Her safety must be protected.
- Offer to provide childcare while she seeks help.
- Offer your home as a safe haven to her, her children and pets. If she accepts your offer, do not let her partner in.
- Encourage her to pack a small bag with important items and keep it stored at your home in case she needs it.
- Know that you or she can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, your local shelter, or, in an emergency, the police.
If she denies the abuse:
- Assure her she can talk to you any time.
- Don’t become angry or frustrated with her decisions. It is important to understand that she may be afraid or not ready to take the next steps.
- Try to understand why she might be having difficulty getting help. She may feel ashamed.
- Offer to go with her if she needs additional information or support.
- If she has children, let her know gently that you are concerned about her and her children’s safety and emotional well-being. She may be more willing to recognize her situation if she recognizes her children may also be in danger.