Help someone who is living with abuse.
Do you have a friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbor who you believe is a victim of abuse? Do you find it difficult to know what to say,
but want to help? There are several things you can do.
Be willing and able to keep your friend's story confidential. Someone who is suffering may be in danger of escalating violence if knowledge of the abuse gets out.
However, if children have been harmed it is important to know that Wyoming state law requires all adults to report suspected abuse.
For information on your responsibilities about reporting child abuse, click HERE.
Learn all you can about domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Call Community Safety Network and talk to an
advocate about how you can be helpful. The more you understand issues of power and control, the more you will be able to help. Most importantly, understand and believe
that the abuse is not her fault.
ONLY THE ABUSER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE.
Be clear that you care and are willing to listen. Don't force the issue, but allow your friend to confide in you at her own pace.
Take feelings and fears seriously. Validate the experience and let your friend know you believe what she is telling you. Make sure your friend knows that she is as important as other considerations such as the children, the family's reputation, and employment.
Try not to let your own values interfere with safety.
Allow People To Make Their Own Decisions
Don't try to rescue or save people who are suffering. Often people find the best solutions when they believe in thier own ability. Remember that abuse is about
power and control and try to give her back control of her own life by allowing her the right and dignity to make her own choices.
Break the Isolation
Your friend is not alone. Help her understand that. Share information about resources such as Community Safety Network,
where people can go or call to receive help and information. Continue to check in on your friend and be clear that you are available when the time is right.
Focus on Strengths
Remind her that she is strong and point out how she has been able to survive emotionally and physically, despite what she has endured. She is a survivor.
For Sexual Assault Victims
- Make sure they are safe
- Help get medical attention
- Offer to stay with them or call another support person
- Offer to call an advocate from Community Safety Network
- Allow them to decide when, where, and if she wants to talk about the assault
- Believe sexual assault victims and be supportive
- Guarantee confidentiality
- Be patient. Don't force people to seek counseling. Let them use their best judgment about what will be helpful, and when
Go to the Resource Page or call 733-SAFE(7233) for more information on how you can help.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BELIEVE IT.