The most dangerous time for a domestic abuse victim-survivor is during the process of—or shortly after—leaving their partner. The decision if or when to end a relationship is entirely up to the victim-survivor and should be done in conjunction with safety planning.
Instead of advising someone to leave, try taking these steps:
- Become informed about domestic abuse.
- Let your loved one know that you care and are willing to listen. Don’t blame them for the abuse or underestimate the potential danger they may be in.
- Emphasize your loved one’s strengths and skills.
- Be patient in your efforts. This may have been going on for years. Go at your loved one’s pace, not yours.
- Believe the survivor and tell them you do.
- Support any decisions, even if you don’t agree. Your loved one is the best judge of safety.
How can I tell if someone is being abused?
Sometimes it is difficult for family and friends to decide when it is appropriate to intervene. The following questions may help you determine if someone you know is in an abusive relationship:
- Is the individual required to check in constantly or ask permission before participating in activities?
- Does the individual lack access to the family’s financial resources?
- Has the individual stopped spending time with friends and family
- Have you noticed behavior changes in the children?
- Does the individual appear frightened, exhausted or on edge?
- Have you noticed bruises, scratches or other injuries?
- Does the individual receive frequent and excessive phone calls or texts?
If you suspect someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call our 24/7 Helpline at 800-522-3304 to talk about your concerns and learn what you can do to help.
We recognize that victim-survivors need support as they move through their journey.
New Hope Midcoast offers the following assistance: