How Can I Help A Friend?
Some signs that my friend might be in an abusive relationship
- Their partner makes all or most decisions.
- They are spending so much time with their partner that they neglect other responsibilities, interests, and relationships.
- They seem tense around their partner or like they can't talk about the relationship.
- Their partner is often jealous and distrustful.
- Their partner monitors who they spend time with.
- Their partner looks through their phone and private messages.
- They seem scared of their partner.
- They seem to have lower self-esteem than before the relationship.
The services listed below are confidential - your friend won't even need to say their name if they don't want to! The person on the other end of the phone won't judge them or tell them what to do. Your friend gets to decide what to share and what they need help with.
Advocates (the people who help folks experiencing harm in relationships) will often help create a safety plan that will work specifically for your friend's situation. They can also provide emotional support and help answer questions about what's healthy and unhealthy in relationships. If needed, they can sometimes get folks connected with legal help, like if your friend wants a protection order.
No one expects you to be an expert on dating violence or how to help. What matters is that you care about your friend and that you let them know you're there for them. There are professionals that can help your friend stay safe, so consider connecting them with one or more of the services below. You can even make the first call (or all the calls!) with your friend if they would like - or just be available in the other room to talk after.
- National Teen Dating Violence Hotline:
- Love Is Respect: Live chat with a Peer Advocate at www.loveisrespect.org, call 1.866.331.9474, or text “LOVEIS” to 22522. Call and text is 24/7.
- Teen Link: 1.866.833.6546, call or text to speak with a Peer Advocate
- Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse: 206.568.7777, www.nwnetwork.org
- Lifewire (24/7): 1.800.827.8840, www.lifewire.org, Serves East King County
- Youth Eastside Services - Dating Violence Program: 425.747.4937, www.youtheastsideservices.org