Listen. Domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking are difficult subjects for everyone to discuss. The abuser may be your relative or friend which can make it even more uncomfortable sharing information. Spend more time listening than talking and withhold judgment and advice.
Respect their choices. Though you may wonder why people stay with an abusive person, trust that they know what is safe for them at this moment. Abusive relationships can be emotionally and physically dangerous. Many victims are assaulted or killed when trying to escape their relationships.
Offer resources and support. Let them know you’ll be there when they need you. They may not be ready to accept help now, but keep the door open. Offer to watch their kids. Be there to sit with them when they’re ready to call for help.
Help them stay safe. If they aren’t ready to leave right now, help develop a safety plan if there is an incident. You could offer to store a copy of important documents, precious items, an extra set of car keys, and emergency money at your home if the need for a quick escape arises.
Offer to help get medical attention. Offer to drive to the doctor if anyone is physically hurt.
Take care of yourself. Get support for yourself. Be mindful of privacy and don’t discuss their situation with mutual friends or family. Seek help from a domestic violence professional or another trusted individual that does not know them personally such as a therapist or spiritual leader. If you are not sure where to turn, call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline, 1.866.223.1111, and a trained advocate will assist you.
Give them the Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline number 1.866.223.1111.
Tell them they can call it any time, day or night, whether they want to find a safe place to go or just get support.