Helping to End Abuse
Take these steps if you or a friend are being harmed:
Don’t blame them
We live with many social messages that “victim-blame”- that harm and hold people back.
Always be supportive and non-judgmental (of yourself and of the friend you’re supporting)
Those “victim-blaming” messages are strong- someone being harmed is even more vulnerable to hear them and feel unsupported.
Someone experiencing abuse needs to have power over the decisions they are making- they know far more about their situation, being aware of even the most subtle consequences to changes, and they will be more invested in decisions if they are able to make them (instead of doing what others tell them to do).
Instead, ask questions to help them discover options that feel safe and comfortable for them to choose. Better yet, connect them to ANHC advocates through the hotline, available 24 hours a day.
Watch for controlling behaviors
Abusers are purposeful about when and how they abuse, according to what they think they can get away with.
Be mindful of isolation tactics, keeping your friend away from you.
Say no to put downs, gendered rules, and sexist characterizations.