Supportive Hug | Friends and Family

For Friends and Family

If you know someone who has been affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking you can offer them support and help them find their way to safety and peace. By being there for your loved one, you can provide comfort, guidance and a sense of hope. Below are some helpful ways to support someone who is experiencing abuse.

How to help

  • If an emergency, consider calling 911.
  • Believe and listen to them. Be supportive and non-judgmental.
  • Do not criticize or guilt them into leaving, but offer to help whenever they need it.
  • Express concern for their safety and let them know that abuse is not their fault and they deserve a healthy relationship.
  • Help them create a safe plan to leave the abusive relationship. Contact an organization or shelter and consider using an interactive safety-planning guide (interactive safety-planning guide).
  • Share helpful resources (link to our resource page) that may be able to support their unique situation.
  • If they end the abusive relationship, continue to be supportive and give them time to heal.
  • Remember, you cannot rescue them. The decision to leave an abusive relationship must come from them.
  • Be helpful and sensitive to strangers or acquaintances who are victims of abuse.
  • In an emergency, call the police immediately to protect the victim and children from immediate harm.
  • Ask victims if they are safe or need someone to talk to. Sometimes a little support, even from a stranger, is just the support someone needs.
  • Let them know that the abuse is not their fault and reassure them that they are not alone.
  • Share helpful resources (link to our resource page) that may be able to support their unique situation.

Learn More About Sojourner Center

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