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Help Your Friend Break the Silence

Each year millions of women in the United States suffer physical and emotional abuse from their husbands or partners. In fact, one of every three women suffers physical abuse at some point in their lives. That means that most people know someone (a mom, sister, friend, or neighbor) who is a victim of domestic violence. What can you do?

Your support and encouragement can be of great value for a friend who is in an abusive relationship.

Perhaps the best thing to do is listen with sympathy and to tell your friend or loved one that you have interest in it and is willing to listen. Try talking to her about the problem of domestic violence in general.

Tell him you are concerned about this problem. Do not insist on the issue, but rather let her trust you when you decide your problems. Keep an open mind and really listen to what he has to say. Never blame her for what is happening or do less than their fear or possible danger. Help her explore her options and give what you can: transportation, child care, or a place to stay. You can reduce their isolation if they let her know she is not alone.

Encourage her to "break the silence" and seek the assistance of representatives in the National Hotline on Domestic Violence.

You can also get more information at http://www.thehotline.org/. Let her know that there are caring people who can help.

If you're worried a friend to talk, call us.

National Hotline on Domestic Violence
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TTY 1-800-787-3224)
http://www.thehotline.org/

You can get help in English, Spanish, and many other languages. All contact with the hotline is free and confidential.