Helping Someone You Know

It can be extremely difficult when you suspect someone you know and care about is being abused. The following information provides suggestions in offering support to those experiencing violence.

Get Informed

Gather all the information you can about your local domestic violence program. The Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley, Inc. can offer shelter, advocacy, support and 24-hour hotline services at (540) 639-1123.

Click here or more information about Virginia Domestic Violence programs.

Lend an Empathetic Ear

Letting your friend know that you care and are willing to listen may be the best help you can offer. Don't force the issue, but allow them to confide in you at their own pace. Never blame the person who is being abused for what's happening or underestimate the fear of potential danger. Remember that your friend must make their own decisions, and support your friend’s right to make those decisions.

Focus on Strengths

Some people live with emotional as well as physical abuse. Your friend is probably continually told by the abuser that they are a bad person, partner or parent. Without positive reinforcement from outside the home, your friend may begin to believe they can't do anything right – that there really is something wrong with them.

Be a Friend in Deed

Tell them that you are and will be there when they need you. Provide whatever you can – transportation, child care, financial assistance. You may be needed to testify in court. Be willing to get involved.

When to Intervene

It cannot be overemphasized that domestic violence is a crime and can result in serious physical injury or even death. If you know that a battering incident is occurring, call the police immediately. This is the most effective way to protect the person who is being abused.

For more information and support, please do not hesitate to call us at (540) 639-1123.