OASIS For Concerned Others

How to help a friend or someone you love.

  • Talk, listen, respect and be emotionally available.
  • Believe them.
  • Accept the fact that the assault/abuse has happened or is happening.
  • Understand that it is not the individual's fault.
  • Listen nonjudgmentally.
  • Keep the focus on them.
  • Suggest options and actions (medical, psychological, and other assistance such as childcare, financial options, shelter, and safety planning), but let him/her decide what action to take.
  • Let him/her talk about the abuse, but don't force a discussion.
  • Take the initiative to maintain communications with the survivor.
  • Do not attempt to moderate between the individual and their abuser.
  • Moderate your natural tendencies to become overprotective.
  • Offer shelter if possible, but know and communicate your limits about your own safety and needs.
  • Don’t minimize the abuse that has occurred.
  • Understand that the individual could be in more danger if they are to leave the relationship, and that this decision is often the most complicated decision to make.
  • Do not blame yourself. The only person who is at fault is the person who committed the harm.
  • Educate yourself on relationship violence and services available.
  • Talk with people you can trust and take care of your own emotional/physical health.
  • Refer to profe4ssional resources.

Have more questions?

What are sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking? Get the facts.

Is what I'm feeling normal? Discover common reactions to trauma and learn how to cope here.

Learn your safety and reporting options for sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.

Not sure how to get help? Check out these campus and community resources for sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence.

Is this a crisis? Review these crisis resources.

Or go back to the CAPS or Oasis main menu.

Need Additional Help?

Contact the Oasis Program or find out more through Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.