How to Help Someone I Know
If you know someone that may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014 to talk about your concerns.
We have knowledgeable counselors waiting to talk to you, and all calls are kept confidential.
A Few Words of Guidance:
- It’s important not to be judgmental if a loved one is experiencing domestic violence. Relationship abuse can be a very isolating experience, and many victims already blame themselves for what’s happening. Having a lifeline to a friend or family member can make all the difference in a person’s ability to break free from domestic violence. Be patient and always offer a listening ear.
- Use gender neutral language (partner, they, etc) when speaking about the person who is acting abusively. Also, be aware of your own gender and sexuality biases.
- Remember that leaving an abusive situation can be scary and dangerous. Don’t pressure decisions, and don’t ask blaming questions like: “Why don’t you just break up with him/her?” Sometimes leaving or pursuing a protection from abuse order can actually increase the threat of injury or death, so never suggest such an action without understanding the situation. Instead, connect the victim with an expert from our hotline.
- Let the person know they are not alone. An astounding 1 in 3 women experience physical abuse. There are also resources available through organizations like Women Against Abuse. We are here to walk alongside them on their journey to freedom and healing.
- Encourage them to call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (1-866-723-3014) for safety planning, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, and many other services.
- You can also help them create a safety plan. Read up on safety planning here.
- One option is to file a Protection From Abuse order – a legal protection for victims that is similar to a restraining order. Our attorneys can help with this process free of charge. Contact our Legal Center at 215-686-7082.
- We know that it can be frustrating and scary to see a loved one seemingly trapped in an abusive relationship. Be aware of how the situation is making you feel as a bystander, and consider talking to one of our counselors on the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline.
Connect with the experts!
Our hotline counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-734-3014. Request Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline cards by emailing Emma Godfrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.