Helping a Victim
The best thing you can do for a victim is to link her or him with a domestic violence agency, such as Hope’s Door. If you or a friend or family member needs help, you can contact:
The Hope’s Door Hotline at
The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
The Wrong Question to Ask
Why doesn’t she just leave?
The Right Question to Ask
Why doesn’t he stop?
Barriers to Leaving and Safety
Understand the dynamics of abuse and avoid victim-blaming statements, such as:
- “Why don’t you just leave?”
- “If you’re staying, it must not really be that bad.”
- “What did you do to provoke the situation?”
There are many reasons why someone might stay in the relationship. For example:
- Economic dependence
- Concerns about children
- Cultural and religious constraints
- Gender roles
- Fear of police, courts, criminal justice system
- Guilt, embarrassment, shame
- Peer pressure
- She wants him to change.
- She thinks she can change him.
- She doesn’t want the relationship to end.
- She wants the abuse to end.
- Don’t judge
- Don’t blame the victim
- Be supportive even if they stay
- Encourage them to seek help
- Don’t gossip
- Help with safety planning
- Do NOT confront the abuser