I think someone I know is being abused. How can I help?

A common myth about people who are abused is that they do not want to talk about what is happening to them. It is true that some people try to hide the abuse, but they often do so because they are afraid of being embarrassed, their partner finding out, being blamed, not being believed, or being pressured to do something they are not ready or able to do. Many people who are abused by their intimate partners either do not know where to turn or have had bad experiences when they have reached out for help.

Let them know that you’re concerned about their safety and that you’re willing to help.

The only way to know for sure if someone you know is being abused is to ASK. If you ask, be prepared to respond supportively.


  • Ask in a private setting.
  • Express concern.
  • Listen and validate.
  • Offer help.
  • Support decisions.


  • Wait for your friend to come to you.
  • Judge or blame.
  • Pressure your friend.
  • Give advice.
  • Place conditions on your support.

About Domestic Violence