Dating Violence: How to Help

Safety & Awareness | November 2, 2021

By Alicia Gehrig, Communications & Partnership Specialist, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.

Abuse is the systematic pattern of behaviors in a relationship used to gain and maintain power and control over another person.

If equality is taken away from your relationship, someone is controlling many different aspects of your life. At Christine Ann, we want to give you the tools to know what to do if this happens to you, if it happens in front of you or if it happens to someone you’re close to.

If it happens to you:

  • Tell your parents
  • Avoid isolated areas
  • Talk with a trusted friend or adult for support
  • Educate yourself
  • Know that the abuse is NOT your fault
  • Contact community resources like Christine Ann
  • Use the buddy system when you go anywhere

If it happens in front of you:

  • Don’t put yourself in harms way; call the police if you feel unsafe
  • Address the violence and let both people know that what you saw isn’t okay
  • Be assertive but not aggressive; do not get violent because it could make things worse
  • Treat the victim like a friend and show them you care
  • Tell a safe adult what you saw

If it happens to a friend:

  • Share your concerns with your friend
  • Listen actively
  • Don’t blame your friend or criticize them for not leaving sooner
  • Inform your friend that it’s not their fault
  • Provide resources
  • Protect their privacy and don’t gossip to others about what they shared with you
  • Encourage your friend to talk to a safe person

You are not alone, and help is here. Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services offers a 24-hour helpline if you need support or want to know how to help a friend. That number is (920) 235-5998.

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