The majority of Americans know a survivor of domestic abuse or sexual assault, highlighting the importance of recognizing violence and supporting survivors. Do you have a friend or loved one who is experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence? If you are unsure, the following are some signs of an abusive relationship.

  • Isolating partner from family, friends, or activities
  • Extreme jealously or possessiveness
  • Checking partner’s cell phone or social media
  • Hurting partner physically or verbally
  • Pressuring partner for sexual behavior or images

If you recognize any of these signs, the following are some things you can do to help the person.

  • Be available to listen, ask what they need from you, and don’t assume you know what is best.
  • Don’t judge their choices
  • Assure the person the abuse is not their fault
  • Respect their privacy, don’t tell others about the violence without their consent
  • Take care of yourself too!

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say when someone discloses violence. Following are some ideas to consider.

  • “It’s not your fault.”
  • “Thank you for telling me.”
  • “I am available if and when you are ready to talk.”

How about the things you shouldn’t do?  Following is a list of things to avoid because they could increase the risk of danger and further isolate the person.

  • Don’t put down the abuser
  • Don’t confront the abuser
  • Don’t post negative stuff about the abuser online
  • Don’t push the victim into making a decision

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you are not alone! Embrace is here to help. You can contact Embrace for free, confidential support at 1-800-924-0556 or text 715-532-6976.


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