How to Help a Friend

You can make a difference.

Things to Do

  • Listen – without judging, rejecting, or blaming someone for their decisions.
  • Believe – understanding that domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of culture, education, and economic circumstances, and that abusers often appear to be very nice people.
  • Recognize – your role is not to “rescue” but to “help.”
  • Educate – about domestic violence and that everyone has choices.
  • Encourage – the person to call the Willow Center 24/7 Crisis and Support Hotline (585-222-SAFE) for confidential help any time day or night.
  • Support – by not abandoning the person.

Words to Say

  • I am sorry this is happening to you.
  • I care about you and I know talking about this is hard.
  • This is not your fault.
  • You don’t deserve to be treated this way.
  • You have the right to be safe.

Questions to Ask

  • Is someone hurting you?
  • Did someone hurt you?
  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Do you dread going home? 
  • What do you need to be safe right now?
  • How can I support you?

If you have any questions on how to support someone, call Willow’s Hotline at (585) 222-SAFE.