Did you know that 19% of people know a friend or family member who has been the victim of domestic violence? It is more common than you think, and often people don’t know their friend is suffering abuse because victims do not always report violent incidents that occur. If you know that a friend or family member is experiencing domestic abuse, don’t ignore it! There are steps you can take to help your loved one get to safety.
If you ever witness an instance of domestic violence, call the police and document everything you see. Include the date, time, location, any injury that occurs, and the circumstances of the incident. This information can be vital in helping press charges against an abuser!
If a friend discloses they are experiencing abuse and are thinking of leaving, be prepared! Keep your phone handy and make sure to have gas in your car if you need to pick them up. Establish a meeting place if they leave on their own, or map out an escape plan in case of emergency. Leaving an abusive relationship can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing– help your friend even more by offering to set up their new phone, bank account, etc.
You can also help victims by making donations to and supporting local shelters or organizations that help people who have been affected by domestic violence. There are lots of things you can do to help, learn more about how to support victims of domestic abuse in the infographic below: