Excuses, Excuses…

minimizing violence

Excuses, Excuses…

Just as people make excuses for their own poor behavior, it seems to be human nature that we often make excuses for others as well — in particular, our significant others. Have you ever found yourself apologizing for the actions of your partner? “Sorry about that, they’re just tired and had a really long day,” or, “They don’t mean to act like that, they’ve just been stressed at work.”

Has a family member or friend ever directly asked you about the way your partner treats you? How did you respond? Did you come up with an excuse to put them at ease — or, to put your own mind at ease?

In an unhealthy or abusive relationship, making justifications for a partner’s behavior is common. When your partner continually makes excuses for how they treat you, it’s only normal that you may start making similar excuses and echoing their sentiments.

What do these excuses sound like?

“It’s my fault. I made a mistake and did something that upset them.”

“They said that I’m controlling. I drove them to act this way.”

“They’re just stressed/tired/having a bad day/kidding.”

“They aren’t usually like this.”

“It’s not that bad. At least they don’t hit me.”

“They didn’t hit me that hard. It could be worse.”

“They weren’t always like this.”

“They were abused as a child/they grew up in an abusive family — it’s all they know.”

“They just have a drug/alcohol problem.”

“They’re bipolar — it’s a medical condition.”

“I’m just overreacting. They say I’m too emotional.”

Why do we do this?

If your partner is treating you in an unhealthy way, it’s often really difficult to acknowledge what’s happening. It’s hard to believe that someone we care for and love could hurt us. Oftentimes a relationship doesn’t begin badly — so it’s confusing when one can change so drastically.

We may also be in denial about what’s actually happening.

It can be tough to stop making excuses for a partner who is treating you badly, but beginning to accept what’s happening is the first step toward holding them accountable for their own behavior.

You are not responsible for your partner’s bad behavior. Your partner’s hurtful words and actions are their own choice — there is always a choice.

If you’re in a relationship where your partner is emotionally or physically abusive and you find yourself making excuses for them, call us at 1-800-799-SAFE. Our advocates can confidentially speak with you more about this and discuss safety and plans for the future.

Comment section

40 replies
  1. I did a stupid thing and moved in with this guy i thought was a good man. and now i have found out he is a verbal abuser. I am looking for another place to live. plus trying to get help. I am a low income elderly person. I have been in a verbal abuse relationship before. I have to say try not to listen to the abuser’s put downs and get out of the relationship as soon as you can. That is what i am going to try and do. I will not let him put me so far down that i can help my self. and dont fool your self by saying he will change and get better. because they dont get better. they only get worse.

  2. I’m currently making plans to move out of my house and take my 3 kids. Once I made the decision, and secured an apartment, I started to feel a lot of anxiety and guilt. Because of the way my husband has reacted in the past when I even suggest we split up, I thought the best thing to do would be to wait until I’m ready to go to tell him. But the guilt of keeping it from him is making me feel sick.

    It doesn’t help that he has been nice lately, so I’m second guessing everything.

    I am tempted to provoke him into a rage just so I can be reassured I am doing the right thing.

    I have so much support from friends and family to leave. But why when I have so many people rooting for me am I still afraid of this one person?

  3. Do NOT go back, my ex did the same thing. He bought me flowers and said it will never happen again, I fell for it and 3 weeks later he started it again. And now he’s trying to get custody of our children and also telling the judge he thinks I’m schizophrenic (that I’m making this all up). Watch out, these con artist abusers are smart and will try to make you look like the bad one. Record every conversation you have with him. It was the hardest thing I ever did. Good luck.

  4. Hi Teresa,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with our online community. It sounds like you are a very strong person and we’re glad to hear that you’re making a plan to find a safe place and get the help that you need. If we can be of any help, you can reach our anonymous and confidential hotline at 1 (800) 799.7233 anytime; we’re here 24/7.

    We have found that abuse does escalate in domestic violence, and gets more dangerous over time. No one deserves to be put down, insulted, or made to feel bad. Everyone has the right to feel safe and be respected, and you have the right to create that safe space for yourself, especially if your partner isn’t helping keep you safe. There is help out there, so please don’t feel that this is something you have to do alone.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  5. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing your story with our online community. It takes a lot of strength to talk about the experiences you’ve had and share what you’re feeling. It sounds like you’re in a very challenging situation and dealing with really conflicting feelings. We’re so glad to hear that you have so much support from your friends and family! It sounds like you’re doing a lot of good work to get yourself and your kids safe, and to stay safe. That can be very difficult, and we know that that most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when you leave. We’re here if you’d like to talk about other ways to stay safe, or if you simply need a safe place to talk about what’s going on. We’re anonymous and confidential, and available 24/7 at 1.800.799.7233.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  6. Hi Kirsten,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our online community. It sounds like you have survived an incredibly difficult situation, and that you are still working towards being safe and keeping your kids safe. We don’t expect to be manipulated and abused by the people that we love, and when they tell us that they will change and that things will be different, we want to believe them. It is so hurtful when they choose to start being abusive again.

    Custody cases can be scary experiences in good circumstances. With an abusive partner, they can be terrifying. There are a lot of resources available to help parents who have escaped abuse and are now trying to protect their children. One helpful website is http://www.custodyprepformoms.org. It has suggestions, like yours, of ways that survivors can prepare for court when facing an abusive ex-partner. Also, our advocates are always available (24/7) at 1.800.799.7233 to provide confidential and anonymous support, and referrals to local agencies that may be able to help.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  7. I was in a relaionship with the guy that was my evrything we togethr for 8yrs shared a place for abt 5yrs or so we have 2kids my son is 3yrs my girl is. 7yrs so we had the perfect family we were happy and living life it was the best times of my life but wht I assumed suddenly made it feel real so finaly things were making sese I wasn’t mad for thinking all tht so abuse,moodswings,aggressiveness,arguements,fighting and everything just changed and then I found him one day in the flat smokin drugs just as I assumed tht was so bad he even left his job to smoke drugs and being with his new “friends”so now he’s not worried abt us wht we eatin our safety leaves home fridays comes back after 7to8 dys so things were realy bad stared hittin me infront of the kids my face was bad couldn’t get out of the house so things got realy bad I moved back to my mthrs house so now we seperated but the thing is this I even took him to court but he doesn’t care at all where ever he gets me he wants to hit me and swears me so bad infront of everyone he came took my son without lettin me knw so he was with him for 2wks I was so worried couldn’t eat or sleep just thinkin abt my sons safety today I had to steal my own child in the park to c my son again so I’m only asking for help to get this person away from me and out of my life coz he don’t seem to be worried of the law at all plssssss!!I’m not feeling save at all this guy I beyond crazy pls I need ur help before its to late tnx for listenin mwa!!!

  8. Dear Raquel,
    I’m so sorry you and your kids are having to deal with such a difficult situation. You’re so right to get away from him and to look for legal routes to keep him from unsupervised visits with the kids. Drugs can heighten abuse and he could certainly hurt all of you without realizing what he is doing. The fact that he took his son without letting you know is very concerning. There are ways to secure your safety and we can help put you in touch with those resources. Please call the Hotline at (800) 799-7233. We’re here 24/7 to help you.

    Hotline Advocate_MT

  9. My daughter is in an abusive relationship and very far away from me. She left and went back. In a few short months he has escalated to throwing her against a wall. He always puts her down, calls her names, monitors and controls everything she does. She makes excuses but sometimes I think she is ready to leave and the next day everything is wonderful again. I am terrified that he is going to hurt her very badly or worse. I want to go get her but realize I can’t do that. I don’t want to do or say anything to make it worse. My goal is to get her out of this as fast as I can without her getting hurt first. What can I do?

  10. Hey Jat,

    Thanks so much for reaching out. I know that this must be so difficult and scary for you as a parent. We often find that leaving an abusive relationship can be very difficult and the back and forth is very common. In fact, what we see is that it can take an average of 7-10 times for someone to leave an abusive relationship permanently.

    The best thing that you can do in this situation is check in with your daughter and ask her what it is that she needs. She is going to know better than anyone else what it is that she needs because she is living it. I’m glad that you are keeping her safety in mind because that is very important. We don’t want to do anything to put her in more danger. And the way to know is to ask. The other really important thing that you can do is start keeping a log. That way she will have documentation ready in case she has to go to court. So have her send you pictures, texts messages etc.

    I would also give her our number, 1(800)799.7233. You can let her know that we are confidential and anonymous and that we can get he connected to local resources as well as develop a plan for her safety. And of course, you are more then welcome to call us.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  11. My mother is in a terribly abusive relationship with her husband. They have been together for 20+ years now and more than half of the relationship has been abusive. He has put his hands on her several times even in front of my siblings and i. She stays with him in the hopes that things will get better but I know they won’t. They have two kids together so she fears leaving him and her kids resent her for “breaking up the family” but the kids are well aware that this is an unhealthy relationship, it’s just that she’s so trapped in. He has taken her car, her money, every thing. He has sucked the life out of her and put her at a lack of self esteem. I know she can break out of this I just need help, steps to get her moving. and worst of all he was diagnosed mentally ill a few years ago with severe case of bi polar. His condition is very bad and continues to get worse. He has days where he decides to stop taking his medication and the end result is a terrible fight breaks out or he targets us. And our my mom has to deal with his irrational behavior until he decides to take his pills again. There is so much more to this story but overall I needed advice to help her. It’s at the point where I wonder if I’m gonna wake up one day and come to find my mom and siblings murdered because he snapped.please help

  12. I’m so scared to leave. First I don’t have friends and family to help because I have’nt talk to them in years. This will be the fifth time I have called the police on him. Today he turn himself in because. There was a warrent out for his arrest, I feel like I made a mistake by calling the police, because I don’t want him to lose his job or our house. Please help

  13. I am currently in this abusive relationship and am now 32 weeks pregnant and also have two children ages 7 and 6. I’ve been hit, slapped, pushed around, hair pulled, grabbed and pinned to the floor. He says its my fault because I dont communicate with him when something is wrong and he hates trying to dig it out of me. I tell him I give him space and try not to bring anything up to avoid an argument but he keeps trying to get something out of me. When I do share what is wrong he gets mad, starts yelling, pulling my hair and slapping me. And when I dont talk about it, it gets worst, he will punch me on my head or on my face and Ill end up with a huge knot. Later he will apologize and try to apply ice to my swollen face or head and say sorry. Like a fool I fall for it and then were fine again until something else comes up again. He admits to having an anger issue and always promises to never do it again when deep down inside I know hes lying but still give in. I have no one to talk to because I simply dont want to get anyone else involved and I also have nowhere to go so I pretty much feel stuck here. I feel so angry, sad and hurt at the same time. I dont know what to do but yet I know what I should do.

  14. I was in a relationship with a man for two years now. we have has some disputes and trouble between him and my son. I allowed my son to speak to him freely(in a manner of respect). the two of them started to get alone well after that. I told him, if he wanted to buy this house that we were approved for to go out and get a job ,when I said that, he started to say bad things to me. I told him that I was not going to allow him to talk to me that way. anyway I put him out and did not want to speak to him again. then a month later he went to jail. he called me in the middle of the night because he was getting arrested. asking me to get his keys and get his thing out of the motel that he was living in. I said no, the police kept calling me back asking me to get the keys. I got out of my bed at 2am to go get his keys to the hotel and bring them to his storage building. he got transferred to our home town jail. he called and called about his storage time was almost up. I did not want to go get the things out of the storage but my son felt bad for him. needless to say when he got out of jail all my problems started I told him to come get his things and I did not want to have anything else to do with him. the next morning an officer was on the say I took this things and he saw the camera. I went talk to the office trying to explain that I had spoken to this man and we were going to get his things back. I had a very had time getting them back but I did. anyway a week later the police was calling me again saying I still had these thing. oh, my god I was out done. I felt like the police harassed me for two weeks straight. I called them and every hot line because I had become fearful of the man he did things to send me a message that he knew that I would get. I AM VERY HURT I QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE I FEARED FOR ME AND ME SON SAFTYAND MOVED BACK WITH MY FAMILY. MY SON IS UPSET BUT WILL NOT TALK ABOUT IT. NOW, I HAVE NO J OB AFTER BEING ON MY JOB FOR 7 YRS AND NO HOUSE OF MY OWN. I DON’T REGRET GETTING MY CHILD TO SAFTEY. I DO FEEL LIKE I WAS LET DOWN BY ALL KIND OF AGENCIES THAT SUPPOSE TO BE IN PLACE FOR THESE TYPE OF SITUATIONS. AND I FEEL LIKE I WAS HARRESED BY T

  15. Nicole,
    Thank you for reaching out and sharing what you’re going through. It is so difficult to see someone we love go through an abusive, dangerous relationship; you’re strength is evident in your words. It sounds like your Mom is going through a really scary situation, and that situation is scaring the whole family too. We know people face many barriers to leaving an abusive situation, and feeling like you might ‘break up the family’ can definitely be one of them. While your Mom is going through this, it is very clear to me you and the rest of her family is going through it along side her, seeing her be put through these things, and that can be scary for everyone. We maintain here at the Hotline that abuse is a choice, and part of his choice might be refusing to take his medication. We’re here for your Mom, if you’d like to talk to her and encourage her to call us. We’re 24/7 and completely confidential and anonymous. We’re also available to talk to you, and her other friends and family. If you’d ever like to give us a call and talk about what’s going on – both with your Mom and you – please feel free to give us a call yourself anytime.
    Reach us anytime at 1-800-799-7233


  16. Dyana,
    I’m so glad you found our blog community and decided to share with us. It sounds like you’re going through a very scary, confusing situation. It can be so helpful to be connected to friends and family and I’m so sorry you’ve been cut off from them. If you’d ever like to give us a call to talk about what’s been going on, we’re here 24/7, and we’re completely confidential and anonymous. You can reach an advocate anytime at 1-800-799-7233.
    Our hotline is a safe place to talk about all aspects of what’s going on, and you’ll receive no judgement anything that has happened.


  17. TJ,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It sounds like you’re in a very scary and dangerous situation, and it takes a lot to reach out and share. We appreciate your words. The abuse you’ve describe is very concerning; no one has the right to hurt you in anyway. Abusive partners often blame their partner for the abuse, however abuse is a choice, and nothing gives this person the right to hurt you. Lack of communication in a relationship is never a reason to be physically violence, that sounds like an excuse for the abuse. It is also not uncommon for abusive partners to apologize and act remorseful after an episode of violence or abusive behavior. It sounds really overwhelming and confusing when he takes care of you after he has hurt you, that’s understandable. What we know about that kind of behavior is that it can still be considered as part of the abuse; gaining power and control over someone can include seemingly positive actions, but it sounds like those things only happen after he has hurt you in some way. That is a really confusing thing to experience, and no one should ever make you feel like a fool for being conflicted in such a situation.
    If you’d ever like to give our advocates a call we’re here to listen. We can talk to you anytime about what’s been happening and safety plan around many different future scenario.
    We are open 24/7 and are completely confidential and anonymous. You can reach us at 1-800-799-7233.


  18. Michelle,
    Thanks for reach out and sharing what you’ve been through. It sounds like you’ve been put through a lot and that can be really overwhelming and unfair. It sounds like this person manipulated the situation and treated you with a lot of disrespect. That’s not fair and you do not deserve to be treated that way. If you’d ever like to reach out to our hotline we’re 24/7 and completely confidential and anonymous. You can call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233.


  19. I finally have an opportunity to leave after 5 years of an abusive marriage. My husband has decided to go on a trip to see him family for a week and is surprisingly willingly leaving me home alone. When I first found out he was leaving, I immediately started planning the move. It’s been 5 years of putting me down every chance he gets, isolating me from everyone I know, controlling my every move, when I give him “attitude” I get grabbed, pushed, spit on, even sat on to hold me down and not let me move while I struggle, leaving bruises I have to cover when I go to school the next day… Its humiliating. I am a law student and have even worked in criminal law with family protection, and I feel so stupid when I know the means to leave, how to file all the paperwork, etc. but I cannot find myself to get the strength. My family, even though I told them clearly, they are not supportive and they don’t like to “get involved” in my “issues” and I do not have any supportive friends either, so doing this on my own is proving almost impossible. He’s leaving tomorrow and I should feel relieved. But he’s been so nice, sweet, being the man he once was with me many years ago before he married and I feel like I’m falling into this trap. He even said this small comment today “You’re not going to run away while I am gone are you?” and he made it sound like a joke. I know in my mind he will go back to his cycle of abuse, i have tried to leave twice before and both times it all happened again. He cries, begs, and my heart just reached out to him and I think “but I love this man, how can I leave him?” It sounds pathetic I know, I know I don’t deserve to be treated this way, but it’s the times he’s so good and caring with me that I cannot get out of my mind to leave once and for all. I know that if I try and leave and I go back to him, my life will be even worse, so this is like a one and only opportunity for me. If anyone has experienced these mixed emotions and how they saw through the good behavior and found the strength, anything would help and be much appreciated.

  20. Hi Chelsea,

    I’m so glad that you reached out for support from our online community. It sounds like you aren’t getting the emotional support you need and that is incredibly challenging. You are definitely right about the cycle of abuse, having experienced it yourself several times, and it really sounds like your husband’s loving behavior is his way of manipulating your thoughts and emotions so you won’t leave. It can be so hard, when he treats you this way and acts so sweetly, to remember how abusive and controlling he can be. I understand wanting to believe him when he says he loves you and hoping that things will change.

    Even with all the knowledge and information you have on legal paperwork, etc., it can be scary to leave when you don’t feel supported by the people around you. You know that your husband shouldn’t treat you this way and that you deserve to be safe. There are people and agencies out here that want to help and support you in getting safe. We are happy to get you contact information for resources in your area, and you can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. We’re anonymous and confidential, and here for you whenever you need us.

    Take care!

    Hotline Advocate AS

  21. TJ, I was in a very similar relationship for 25 years. I tried multiple times to leave, only to be threatened even more. I feared for my life and my children’s life. I didn’t feel I had any friends or family I could go to. But I finally found the courage and support I needed through the Advocates for Family Peace in my home town. I strongly encourage you to reach out to them for help. Not just for yourself but for your children, this relationship does effect them . Show them how you care for them and love them by getting out and into a healthy, loving, non-violent life style. I will pray for you TJ. You and your children are worth being treated with love and respect.

  22. I need out myself. My husband after 25 yes became aalcholic. He has been abusing me for yes. It has got so bad last night he said if he had a gun he would kill me. I am afraid to sleep.
    I have 2 dogs and 2 puppies I wlll not leave with him he is so mean yo them. I have got yo get out. I just want my own place . I just want my life back. I don’t remember the last time I was happy.Help me please.

  23. Hi Vonda,

    I am so sorry to hear about the abuse you have been experiencing. It sounds like your husband is putting your life in danger with the serious threats he is making and the way he has been abusing you. I know you are requesting help. I want you to know that you can call our 24 hour hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and speak to and advocate about the options that are there for your help. We hope that you can be able to contact us.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  24. I need help so badly. My family has disowned me and has my oldest son because I put up with an abusive man and allowed it to go on. I have restraining orders but he won’t stop stalking me. He is going to kill me I’m sure of it. Just two hours ago he came to my house and assaulted me and forced me to drive to the bank and get money then take him to buy drugs. I called cops they arrested him but he’ll be out Tuesday. He will come straight here. I have the money to move but my credit is bad because he destructed my last apartment and it was in my name so I can’t get an apt or rent a house or anything. I make good money and can’t find even a ghetto apartment. My kids and I are so scared. He told me he was planning to kill me but he stopped himself because he wanted drugs too badly. I beg his probation officer to violate him but they never do. He is on felony probation for assaulting me and I have a criminal restraining order so it’s easy to get him arrested but it’s only for a few days each time. Then he’s more mad. I just want somewhere to go to be safe I’m a sitting duck here. I pray I live to see my kids grow up.

  25. I’ve tried to get help from every agency that exists. You were smart to get away. I want to get away but my family disowned me because last time they helped me leave I went back. They won’t help anymore so I just have the restraining order to protect me. There is no help out there everybody blames me his probation officer tells me to just move but I can’t find anywhere to move to. You are smart for getting your son out of there!,

  26. Hello To,

    Thank you for sharing your story with our community. You and your family have been through so much and it sounds terrifying. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, especially when you haven’t been able to get the help you’ve needed in the past.

    You and your kids have every right to be safe. We know how scary it is to not have control of your own safety or your children’s. It sounds like you’ve made good plans and smart choices, and are doing the best you can. Please know that we are here to provide emotional support and give us a call anytime at 1-800-799-7233. Our advocates are available 24/7 and our hotline is anonymous and confidential. We can help you figure out other ways to stay safe or look for programs that may be able to help.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

    I also want to thank you for sharing your story and experiences with our community on other blog posts. Having support is one of the most powerful tools for someone in an abusive relationship, and it means so much coming from someone who has also survived abuse. I needed to remove some of your comments as they didn’t follow our community guidelines, which you can review here. We want our blog to be an encouraging and safe space for everyone, and we really appreciate your understanding.

  27. Hi my husband drinks every weekend and all night but then verbally abuses me and sometimes hits me… Yesterday, he punched me in the face couple of times and then i think i broke my nose and my nose bleeding continued till couple of hours. He then dragged me by my shirt to the other room. I Kept on pleading, he won’t listen. Today he said that its my fault and i should not be alive, thanks to him that he just broke my nose, and he is still in the mood of doing it again. that’s how he wanted to terrorize me. i loved him dearly and still don’t know what to do? i don’t want him to go to jail but i want him to understand how i feel,but he won’t.

  28. I am in a similar situation. I will pray for you. I would try to rent a home that is being rented out by the homeowner. Tell them your situation. They may let you live there.

  29. you need to leave now. your life is more important. I would call the police. He needs to be in jail.

  30. Anonymous,

    My gosh, it sounds like you are in an extremely emotionally and physically abusive relationship. I know the incident you just described happened yesterday, and just from your description, I am concerned about your safety as well as your physical well being. It sounds like he really hurt you. I know the words that he said to you were blaming, but I want you to know that this is not your fault. It is not ok for him to physically or emotionally abuse you. Never! You do not deserve to be treated this way. Your husband is compromising your safety and well being and it sounds as if he could seriously hurt you. If you are safe to call us, please do at 1-800-799-7233. We are here 24-7 and are completely confidential and anonymous. If you are not safe to call but have internet access, you can chat with one of our advocates online Monday – Friday at our website https://www.thehotline.org/. I know you don’t know what to do, I want you to know that’s ok, call us and we can talk to you about this.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  31. A reminder to our blog community,

    We are thankful that you all are reading, posting, and encouraging one another through our blog. Please be mindful that everyone’s experience in an abusive relationship is different and what might have worked for you, may not work for others.

    You can view our community guidelines here: https://www.thehotline.org/community-guidelines/

  32. I am currently in an abusive relationship. I did leave him at one point for about 3months but the apologies and tears got to me. I have to say it was the worst mistake ever. Now I am stuck and need a plan for the fact that the last time I tried to leave he basically held our son ransom a 1year old baby boy. Why? Because who’s kids are not their weakness..? Now I am trying to make a plan to leave with ALL of my kids and be done with this. I am tired of crying and making up excuses or hoping one day he will change. He verbally, physically and mentally abusive. Blames me for “making him mad” i just want my life back with my kids. I just want to have a REAL smile on my face from happiness again.

  33. Laura,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like this has been a really frustrating situation and it is completely understandable to want to make sure to have a plan to escape safely with all of your children. It sounds like your children are your biggest motivation and that says a lot about the mother that you are! We know that people who are abusive use many different strategies to gain and maintain power and control in the relationship, including turning the blame around and not taking responsibility for their behaviors.

    It sounds like you really know what you deserve in a relationship, and you definitely deserve to be happy. Know that you are always welcomed to contact us, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support.

    Until then,


  34. I have a friend who is being abuse she has two girls and one boy all are under 6 she is in a very bad situation were it is a daily thing for them to fight now is gotten to were he is now calling the son nigger and when he loses it he will push the kids out the way to get to get what can I do she has now thought about suicide but she fear she can’t run from him

  35. Hi A Friend,

    When someone you care about is experiencing abuse, it can be very frightening and upsetting. You may want to consider the following steps:

    1. Maintain your communication as much as possible. The fact that you still have communication with your friend is certainly a good sign that she hasn’t been completely alienated or isolated from the rest of the world.
    2. Even though you may not agree with the relationship, put on a good “face” for the abusers’ sake. If the abuser believes you may break up their relationship, the abuser will attempt to alienate and isolate her from you as well. You don’t want that to happen because it will make it harder for you to empower her to do anything.
    3. Trust her to know when it will be the safest to leave. Consider that a person experiencing abuse may not divulge all the threats that have been made, to avoid putting others in danger as well. Remember that she is the expert of her situation.
    4. Try to avoid making ultimatums or making decisions for your friend. Part of the abuser’s edge is the maintenance of power and control, through many demands. By supporting your friend and providing her with information and options, you build up her confidence and empower her, which is a huge step towards getting safe. Offer to help her with putting together a safety plan that is specific to her situation.
    5. Sometimes people experiencing abuse don’t leave because they feel that their options are limited. Give your friend information about local programs and options, and give her a safe place to explore those options. Let her know that our hotline is available 24/7, every day of the year at 1-800-799-7233, and is confidential and anonymous. We can help her with going over options and resources local to the area including, advocacy, shelter, counseling, support groups, and legal services that are available for free or on a sliding scale.
    6. Feel free to call us when you need support as well. We know that these situations are very challenging for family and friends as well. The book “Helping Her Get Free” by Susan Brewster has information for family and friends of a person in an abusive relationship. The website http://www.womenslaw.org also has a tab called “Helping Others” that provides information for family and friends of a person experiencing abuse and tips for helping with safety planning.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate CC

  36. Hi A Friend,

    It can be really difficult to support someone who doesn’t want help. Maintaining your communication with your friend and being supportive of their decisions are important first steps. If you need additional support or ideas for supporting your friend, please call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, we would be happy to discuss your concerns and offer some strategies.


    Hotline Advocate CC

Comments are closed.

caret-downemailfacebookgoogleplusLove is Respect Heart Iconlinkedinmagnifying-glasspdfpinterestreddittumblrtwitter
Click to go back to top of page.