Helping A Friend

If you think your friend is in a violent relationship, but you aren't sure--go with your instincts. You probably wouldn't be concerned without reason. Follow these tips and talk with your friend. Remember that our advocates answer our hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  (214) 946-HELP (4357).

When you know someone in an abusive relationship:

What Can You Do?

  • Listen without judging. She may feel responsible, ashamed, inadequate, and afraid.
  • Tell her that it is NOT her fault.
  • Make sure she knows she is not alone.
  • Explain that relationship abuse is a crime. She can seek protection from the police, courts, and domestic violence programs.
  • Suggest she develop a safety plan. A safety plan is helpful in case of an emergency. Keep money, important documents, a change of clothes, and an extra set of keys in a safe place, such as with a friend or neighbor.
  • Think of ways you can help. If she decides to leave, she may need money, assistance finding a place to live, a place to store her belongings, or help finding a safe home for her pets.
  • Contact our 24-hour hotline at (214) 946-HELP. If you need advice on how to help your friend in an abusive relationship, Genesis Women's Shelter & Support can help. We offer counseling for friends and relatives of victims of abuse.

In many cases, she fears for her life. She may want her children to grow up with both parents, or feel guilty believing that the abuse is her fault. Sometimes a victim's self-esteem is so damaged by the abuse that she thinks she can't make it on her own. Or, she may just want the violence to end, not the relationship.

What if she decides to remain in the relationship?

  • Encourage her to keep a log or diary of the abuse. This log should include evidence of threats in letters, email, voicemail, or answering machine messages.
  • Help her identify resources. Help her make a list of resources to help her take care of herself, get emotional support, and build her self-esteem.
  • Suggest she tell a doctor or nurse about the violence. A doctor or nurse can document the abuse in her medical records and take photographs of her injuries, which will be helpful if she decides to take legal action.
  • Encourage her to call Genesis Women's Shelter & Support at (214) 946-HELP. If she reveals that she is being stalked by her abuser, Genesis can help her establish a safety plan and obtain a protective order. Stalking, as well as domestic abuse, is against the law.
  • Help her develop a safety plan for her children. Many women stay in abusive situations because of their children. It is important to have a safety plan for the children in case of an emergency.

What if she decides to leave the relationship?

  • Decide how you can help. Can you loan her money? Offer her a place to store her belongings? Help her find a safe place to live?
  • Help her develop a safety strategy. Encourage her to set aside money, gather and store important documents, and develop a plan of escape.
  • Contact Genesis Women's Shelter & Support or another battered women's program for assistance.

What if you see an assault in progress?

  • Call 911.
  • Write down all the information you can remember, including any license plate numbers and the location of the assault.
  • Contact Genesis Women's Shelter & Support or another battered women's program for assistance.
  • Be sure to keep yourself safe.
  • If you see an assault in progress, do something about it. Don't assume that someone else has already taken care of it.

Genesis Women's Shelter & Support

4411 Lemmon Ave., Suite 201
Dallas, Texas 75219
Outreach: 214.389.7700
24-Hour Hotline: 214.946.HELP
Thrift Store: 214.520.6644
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support is a
501(c)(3) through
Shelter Ministries of Dallas

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