Helping Someone You Care About

Family, friends and co-workers of someone experiencing domestic violence can be critical links to services for a victim seeking safety.

How can I help?

  • Listen: Sometimes a victim just needs someone to hear them.
  • Don’t judge: Victims don’t need to hear: "If it was me, I wouldn’t put up with that" or "I would leave." It may be a lot more complicated than you realize, and they may be in fear of the consequences of their actions.
  • Be supportive: Let them know that they're not alone. Offer to sit with them while they call our hotline or offer to bring them to YWCA Greenwich for a counseling appointment. Your support may make the difference in whether or not they seek help.
  • Get support for yourself: You may also be experiencing frustration, or even secondary trauma, as you try to offer support. You can contact YWCA Greenwich to speak with a counselor about planning for your own physical and emotional safety.

Call our hotline at 203-622-0003 to get support in helping someone you care about.

Helpful things to say

  • I believe you
  • I am afraid for your safety
  • I am afraid for the safety of your children
  • You don’t deserve to be treated this way
  • What can I do to help? What is it you need right now?
  • I am so sorry that this has happened to you
  • I’m here to listen, if you want to talk
  • No one has the right to be abusive – no matter what
  • Many people have experienced this (You are not alone)
  • YWCA Domestic Abuse Services may be able to give you some ideas and support

What should I do if a co-worker (friend/family member/neighbor) is being abused?

Support themTry to rescue them
Listen in a non-judgemental wayBlame or criticize
Validate themTell them what to do
Assure confidentiality and privacyIntervene beyond your own capability
Ask how you can helpPut yourself at risk
Be patientConfront the abuser
Help them identify their own strengthsAsk too many questions.
Let them open up at their own pace.
Remind them the abuse is not their faultPlace a hotline card in their purse
or send an email or text
Encourage them to engage with YWCA Domestic Abuse Services and offer to call or go with them if you feel safeForce them to talk to you
State clearly why you are concernedAssume they don't want to ever
talk about it
Let them know that you know how to get helpPublicly talk about it
Accept whatever they say
Reassure them that the lines of communication are always open
Carefully and privately document any overt evidence of abuse