How to Help a Friend

If you want to help a friend who is experiencing violence and abuse from their intimate partner, there are ways you can provide practical and emotional support.

Believe her! And tell her it is not her fault.

Women experiencing intimate partner violence can be at high risk for danger. They can feel ashamed, confused or unstable, isolated and alone, to blame for the abuse, frightened, unable to make decisions and more.

You can help a friend by:

  • creating a safe space for her to talk with you about what is happening
  • being honest, predictable and approachable
  • listening and responding without pressure or judging or trying to fix everything
  • believing her and telling her the violence is not her fault
  • shining a light on the ways she resists the violence in her life
  • recognizing she is the expert of her life
  • following her guidance when you offer help
  • accepting her choices and decisions
  • finding organizations in your community who support people experiencing violence and get their advice
  • providing practical supports like a ride to the grocery store or some help with childcare
  • continuing to be there for her – don’t give up

If you know someone who needs help and a safe place to go, click here for a complete list of Transition Houses and Safe Homes in BC.

If you are in immediate danger,
call your local police
or dial 9-1-1

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