Start a conversation about domestic violence

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Everyone knows a victim of domestic violence, but most people don’t know what to do to help.

 

“If someone comes to you and tells you they’re a victim of domestic violence, the most important thing you can do is offer your support without judgment,” said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate. “There are 1,300 deaths and two million injuries related to domestic violence each year. Odds are we all know someone who’s in an abusive relationship. Knowing how to help might just save a life.”

 

Here are some easy ways to start a conversation:

•  Offer support without judgment or criticism. There are a lot of reasons why victims may stay in an abusive relationship, and many reasons why they may also leave and return to the relationship multiple times. Let them know it’s not their fault and that they are not alone.

•  Don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re concerned for their safety. Help your friend or family member recognize the abuse while acknowledging that they are in a very difficult and dangerous situation.

•  Avoid confrontations. There are many reasons why people experiencing abuse don’t reach out to family and friends. It’s important to recognize when they are ready to talk about their experiences while still offering support.

•  Encourage them to get help. Suggest ways they can get additional support. Help them look into available resources, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline number – 800-799-SAFE (7233) or website at www.thehotline.org. This resource also finds local support groups and provides information on staying safe.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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