At least one in three women and one in four men will be abused by their domestic partner. Every minute, 20 people experience some form of domestic violence, making an average of 10 million people per year. Sometimes it's not obvious when someone is the victim of domestic violence.
It could be someone you pass on the street, someone who sits next to you in class, your neighbor, or even your friend. But what can you do when you suspect that your friend or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence?
1. Don't place the blame on your friend.
2. Offer support and comfort.
3. Understand that your friend might still feel a need to protect their partner.
4. When bringing up concerns about their relationship, be specific.
5. If your friend comes to you, listen to them.
6. Continue to support your friend even after they break up with their partner.
7. Contact the proper authorities if you're afraid for your friend.
8. Encourage your friend to pursue activities that make them happy.
9. Help your friend develop a safety plan.
10. Understand that your friend might say no when you offer to help them.
11. Understand that some abuse isn't physical. Mental abuse can be just as debilitating.
12. Remind your friend that they don't have to suffer alone.
13. Don't make decisions for your friend.
14. If your friend leaves their partner, keep the location they've gone to a secret.
15. Help your friend get any resources they may need.
16. Remember that your friend might refuse any help you offer.
17. Remind your friend that their health and well-being is important.
18. Let your friend know that they can always come to you if they need to talk.
19. If your friend asks for advice, give it, or help them find an answer if you're unsure.
20. Understand that you might not be able to fix every problem. If things get to be too much, understand that sometimes you might need to find someone to help you help your friend.
For resources on domestic abuse check out the links below.