When talking to a friend you think might be abused, there are several key things to keep in mind:
- Listen to what she has to say, and don't be judgmental.
- Let her know you are there for her whenever she needs to talk and that you are worried about her.
- Let her know that you won't tell anyone she doesn't want you to about her situation—and then keep your word (unless you fear for her physical safety).
- Be specific about why you are concerned—"I felt bad when I saw him insult you in front of all of us. He doesn't have the right to treat you that way. What did you think about it?"
- Let your friend know you won't stand by and let the behavior continue.
- Find someone knowledgeable about abuse that she can talk to, and volunteer to go with her.
Published on March 12, 2009