violence
  • Individual is withdrawn, isolated and goes out of his or her way to avoid contact
  • Individual does not seem to have availability to money and has to ask permission from his or her partner about any purchases he or she makes
    • This can even include household and baby items
  • Individual seems to always be hurt or bruised
  • Individual looks stressed and very fatigued
  • Individual is unwilling to give you his or her address or telephone number
    • The individual may insist on being the one that does the contacting
  • Individual may have low self-esteem, depression or appear very fearful
  • Individual may appear jumpy and have nervous ticks or mannerisms
  • Individual seems ill all the time
    • He or she may suffer from stomach ailments and/or headaches
  • Individual does not attend family, work or social functions
  • Individual may wear long sleeves in the summer and sunglasses indoors

What You Can Do

  • Be supportive
  • Ask if he or she is being abused. However, be gentle and be prepared to hear a denial
    • Once the victim feels that he or she can trust you, he or she will generally open up and communicate. This may take a period of time, so be patient
  • Do not be critical of the individual or tell him or her what you would do
  • Encourage your friend, validate his or her feelings and offer to help
  • Tell your friend that you will help him or her make a checklist to leave
    • Research safe places that he or she can go
    • If necessary, open up your home for the individual to store belongings, make telephone calls or receive mail
  • If you feel your safety would be compromised by helping your friend, find someone who can help him or her
  • Do not get angry with your friend if he or she decides not to leave or report the violence
    • Be supportive. You have to let the victim make his or her own decisions
  • Have your friend memorize the telephone number 1-800-799-SAFE
    • This is a number he or she can call in an emergency. This organization helps the victims of domestic violence find shelter and/or resources in his or her area.