What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Being Abused

but they have not disclosed, and you don’t know for sure


  • Express concern
  • State clearly why you are concerned, what behaviors you’ve seen
  • Assure confidentiality and privacy
  • Let them know you know how to get help
  • Accept whatever they say
  • Listen in a non-judgmental way
  • Reassure them that the lines of communication are always open
  • Remind them that the abuse is NOT their fault
  • Carefully and privately document any overt evidence of abuse
  • Call YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services for guidance and support for yourself


  • Pressure them to talk to you
  • Assume they want to talk about it
  • Publicly talk about it or gossip
  • Try to rescue them
  • Blame or criticize them or their partner
  • Tell them what to do
  • Intervene beyond your own capability
  • Put yourself at risk
  • Confront the abuser
  • Ask too many questions; let them open up at their own pace
  • Place hotline information in their bag or send an email or These may be monitored by the abuser