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Helping Someone Who is Abused

Do you know someone who is being abused?

  • Let her know she is not alone
  • Tell her the abuse is not her fault
  • Read and collect information to pass on to her
  • Show that you believe in her and her ability to deal with change
  • Help her develop a safety plan
  • Help her find housing
  • If safe enough for you, offer to babysit while she seeks housing or support
  • Provide a place for your friend and her children to stay if they decide to leave, but ensure the place is safe for your friend, and for yourself or the person who has agreed to shelter them
  • Call 911 if you see her being hurt.

It is important to remember…

  • Don’t tell her what to do, when to leave or when not to leave
  • Don’t push her before she is ready
  • Don’t make her feel bad for staying
  • Don’t tell her to go back into the situation
  • Don’t tell her to stay for the sake of the children
  • Don’t be angry with her if she does decide to go back.  Many women go back to abusive situations before they finally leave.
  • Don’t talk to her partner about it.  This could put your friend in danger.

She needs a friend.  These are not easy decisions.  Listen, refer and support.


 Source: Stopping the Violence: A guide for women facing domestic violence, YWCA Vancouver.

To help someone who is abused: Listen, Refer and Support.