In a typical year, over 200 million women and girls will experience some sort of intimate partner violence. With so many victims each year, it might surprise you to know that less than half of these women will report incidents of domestic abuse. Even if a victim chooses not to report incidents of abuse, they need support in order to take the first steps to leaving their situation.
If you know of a friend or loved one who is experiencing domestic abuse, it is important to let them know you are there for them. Abusers will often isolate their victims to make them feel as if no one will believe them if they try to report their abuse. If you see signs of abuse in your friend or loved ones relationships don’t ignore it. If you witness any physical violence, write down any details you can so that you can make a report to local police.
If a friend confides in you that they are being abused, you can support them by helping formulate an escape plan. Keep your phone charged and have plenty of gas in your car in case your friend lets you know they are ready to leave. Leaving an abusive partner is emotionally taxing, and many victims may not know where to start in rebuilding their lives once they leave. To help them, offer to assist in setting up new phone services or bank accounts for your friend.
19% of people know a friend or loved one who has been the victim of domestic violence. If you know a friend who is in an abusive situation, there are steps you can take to help them. Learn more about how to help victims of domestic abuse in the infographic below: