How to Help a Friend

You might think that something as simple as talking to a friend about domestic violence couldn’t possibly make a difference, but it really does.

What if your friend decides to remain in the relationship?

  • Listen, without judging.
  • Tell your friend that abuse is not the victim’s fault.
  • Be honest and supportive.
  • Tell her* you are afraid for her and her children.
  • Make sure she knows she is not alone.
  • Suggest that she develop a safety plan in case of an emergency. Safety plan pocket cards with planning ideas can be picked up in the YWCA office during office hours, or YWCA advocates can work with your friend to develop a safety plan.
  • Think about ways you might feel comfortable helping. If she decides to leave her relationship, she may need money, assistance finding a place to live, a place to store her belongings, or a ride to a domestic violence shelter.

Get advice. If you want to talk with someone to get free, confidential advice about a particular situation, you can contact YWCA Walla Walla at 509-525-2570. The YWCA also operates a 24-hour crisis line at 509-529-9922 or, for the Dayton area, 509-382-9922. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

*Though most YWCA clients are women, the YWCA provides advocacy services for male survivors as well. Men can experience both domestic violence and sexual assault.