Helping a Friend or Relative

Survivors who are abused may tell a friend or relative first.  It is important you know what to do, and equally important for you to take care of yourself.

A Caring Mentality

Before you get involved, make sure you’ve given the decision plenty of thought.  Your success is also not connected to whether or not the survivor leaves the abusive partner.

Accept that there are limitations in what you can do.  You can be supportive but your friend/relative must make his or her own decision.

Helping a Survivor

Help the survivor to establish a positive sense of assertive behaviors by understanding that he or she has a right:

  • Not to be abused
  • To have anger over past abuse
  • To choose to change her situation
  • To freedom from fear of abuse
  • To request and expect assistance from police and social agencies
  • To want a better role model of communication for her children
  • To be treated like an adult
  • To leave the battering environment
  • To privacy
  • To express her own thoughts and feelings
  • To develop her individual skills and abilities
  • To prosecute her abuser
  • Not to be perfect

What Else Should I Know?

  1. The most dangerous time for a battered woman is when she leaves her abuser.
  2. South Carolina has one of the highest rates in the U.S. of women killed by men.
  3. Women who are abused may abuse alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate due to physical and emotional pain.
  4. Domestic violence is a leading indicator that child abuse is happening in the home.
  5. More than 3 million children witness acts of domestic violence every year.
  6. As many as one in four young women are battered before completing high school and one in three before completing college.