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Providing support

Help a loved one

Are you worried that someone you care about is being abused? You may have noticed some warning signs, including the following:

  • Your partner belittles you or makes you feel inferior.

  • They are constantly worried about making their partner angry.

  • They make excuses for their partner's behavior.

  • Your partner is extremely jealous or possessive.

  • They have unexplained marks or injuries.

  • They have stopped spending time with friends and family.

  • They are depressed or anxious, or you notice changes in their personality.

If a loved one is being abused, it can be very difficult to know what to do. Sometimes our instinct may be to "save" them from the relationship, but it is not always that easy. However, when a person is experiencing domestic violence and / or sexual assault, it is very important that they have a support system either of friends or family to create a safe space where they can express their fears and hopes.

Things you can do:


  • Listen without judging. If your friend or family member shares with you about the abuse they are experiencing, it is because they trust you. It takes courage and confidence to reveal that one is abused.

    • Things you can say:

      • You're not alone

      • I believe in you

      • No one deserves to be abused

      • It was not your fault

      • Your safety and that of your children is important

      • I am here to support you


  • Encourage them to make their own decisions and seek help. Sometimes it is very easy to pressure the person to do something they do not want, or to reproach them for making decisions with which you do not agree. Just support them.


  • Be present. If your friend needs to go to a medical appointment or make a police report, go with them. Sometimes being present is the best support we can provide.


  • Be patient . Abusive relationships and sexual assaults can be traumatic experiences, and therefore the healing process can be long. Not everyone copes with trauma in the same way.


  • Help them create a Safety Plan. Click HERE for more information.


  • Offer them the Mujeres in Action phone number : 509-869-0876   for more help. Also, you can give them the number of the local sexual assault hotline at 509-624-7273 of the National Hotline on Domestic Violence: 1.800.787.7233 or the National Hotline on Sexual Assault: 800.656.HOPE (4673).

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