How to Help Someone Who is Experiencing Abuse

If you have a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who is a victim of domestic violence, encourage her to contact the local women’s shelter. Experienced, empathetic counsellors will be able to provide confidential information and advice and help her to develop a safety plan.

In addition, you can help by offering support, information and assistance in accessing community programs.

  • Let her know you are there to help. Listen to her without being critical or judgmental
  • Assure her that she is not to blame for the abuse and that she is not alone
  • Help her provide for any immediate medical and personal needs and make sure that she and her children are safe
  • Gather and pass on information about relevant community programs and assistance: shelters, sexual assault centres, legal aid, financial assistance etc.
  • Give her time to make her own decisions and respect her confidentiality
  • Encourage her to call DASO’s 24-hour crisis/help line (519-539-4811 or 1-800-265-1938). You may call that line as well for information and suggestions on how to support your friend
  • Offer to play a role in her safety plan which might involve: providing emergency shelter; providing transportation; safeguarding pre-packed luggage, documents and/or money that would be required in an emergency
  • Visit the Neighbours, Friends and Families website, , for information and further suggestions on how you can help