If you suspect a friend is in a controlling or abusive relationship, it’s difficult to help. It often takes seven attempts for a victim to leave a relationship.

That can be frustrating for those who want their loved one to get out sooner.

Don’t give up. Here are some things to do:
  1. Listen to the victim.
  2. Give the victim three key assurances: “You don’t deserve this;” “This is not your fault;” and “I believe you.”
  3. Tell the victim you think he or she might be in danger.
  4. Give the victim phone numbers of domestic violence resources, such as the  The National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  5. Call and ask what you can do to help your friend.
  6. Don’t tell the victim what to do. Abusers often prevent victims from making decisions. Telling the victim what to do could sound controlling, like the abuser.
  7. Ask the victim where he or she would go if he or she decided to leave. Help her or him think about making a plan.
  8. If abuse is actively occurring, immediately call: 9-1-1.
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