For Friends and Family Members
If someone you care about is a victim of abuse, you can make an enormous difference in her or his life. However, it’s critical to remember that victims are the experts on their own physical safety and emotional well-being. Regardless of the decisions a victim of sexual or domestic violence is making, reaching out and letting her or him know you are concerned and want to help can be a huge step towards safety and peace of mind.
Victims of domestic violence must constantly weigh the risks of danger to themselves, their children, their employment, their family and friends, and their housing situation. Sometimes staying with a batterer or choosing not to report domestic violence to law enforcement can be the safest option.
Victims of sexual violence may have a variety of needs, from immediate medical attention following a rape to short or long-term counseling support.
How You Can Help
- Call the Statewide Hotlines for information, and for support for yourself:
- Domestic Violence 800-228-7395
- Sexual Violence 800-489-7273
- Encourage the victim to call a Statewide Hotline or contact a Member Program.
- Maintain confidentiality – this can be crucial for an individual’s safety and privacy.
- Believe the victim, and help her/him access resources without pressuring or judging.
- Let them know that they are not alone – that you are there to provide support when they need it.
- Support them as they think about the risks and benefits of different actions.