Depending on the situation, a survivor may be financially dependent on an abusive partner or otherwise lacking access to material resources. One of the most immediate ways you can support someone experiencing relationship abuse is by helping them with their material needs.
- Help them identify a support network to assist with physical needs like housing, food, healthcare, and mobility as applicable.
- Help them by storing important documents or a “to-go bag” in case of an emergency situation.
- Encourage them to participate in activities outside of their relationship with friends and family, and be there to support them in such a capacity
- Encourage them to talk to people who can provide further help and guidance, like The Hotline or our teen and young adult project love is respect.
- If they give you permission, help document instances of domestic violence in their life, including pictures of injuries, exact transcripts of interactions, and notes on a calendar of dates that incidents of abuse occur.
- Don’t post information about them on social media that could be used to identify them or where they spend time.
- Help them learn about their formal legal rights through resources like Women’s Law, which provides information on domestic violence laws and procedures.
- With their permission, ensure that others in the buildings where the survivor lives and works are aware of the situation, including what to do (and what not to do) during a moment of crisis or confrontation with an abusive partner.
These examples are by no means comprehensive but provide an understanding of ways to support a survivor that can help protect their safety.