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Family & Friends

Most likely at some point in your life you will encounter someone who is experiencing domestic violence. The number one thing you can do as a family member, friend or acquaintance of a victim is to let the victim know that you are there to support them regardless of their decisions. An abusive relationship is all about control so few victims have had the ability to make decisions for themselves.Being supportive and not trying to control their next decision is the best way you can help.

How do I know if my friend is being abused?

  • Have you seen evidence of injuries?
  • Have you heard and accepted explanations for black eyes, bruises or broken bones?
  • Does s/he miss work frequently?
  • Have you noticed changes in her/his behavior?
  • Does her/his partner embarrass or ridicule her/him in public?
  • Does her/his partner blame her/him for the way s/he acts or the things s/he says?
  • Does her/his partner show an unusual amount of control over her/his life?

How can I help?

  • Listen to her/him.
  • Tell her/him it's not their fault. You can never make someone else hurt you.
  • Believe what they have to say.
  • Do not minimize the struggle s/he is experiencing.
  • Do not judge her/him.
  • Do not blame her/him.
  • Assure her/him that they are not responsible for the abuse.
  • Give her/him the statewide, toll free domestic violence hotline number 888-774-2900 (English) or 844-831-9200 (Español)
  • Direct her/him to the local domestic violence agency 
  • Let her/him keep important papers and extra clothes at your house.
  • Encourage her/him to develop a safety plan and ways to escape quickly
  • When you can, help with transportation, child care and groceries
  • Be patient. It takes time to bring about change.

Physical violence or abuse in any relationship is never acceptable. Tell her/him that they deserve to be safe. Help her/him learn not to deny or minimize the abuse. Assure your friend that violence in their home does concern you. No one deserves to be abused. Domestic violence is a crime in Connecticut.

As a power and control tactic, abusers often use a multitude of techniques to keep the victim isolated. Remind them that they are not alone and there are resources to help them. Many people aren't aware that domestic violence agencies provide free and confidential information such as counseling and support over the phone. Educate yourself on domestic violence and the resources available to help your friend.

If you would like assistance in helping your loved one, please contact your local domestic violence agency by calling the statewide, toll free domestic violence hotline at 888-774-2900 (English) or 844-831-9200 (Español).