Listen. Believe. Refer.
Listen without judging. Don’t focus on what you would do in his or her situation or how you would “fix” things. Don’t blame him or her for the abuse. Respect decisions, including the decision to remain in the relationship.
Believe what s/he says. Never minimize the abuse. Do not try to erase fear by downplaying the danger with comments like “I’m sure he wouldn’t carry out his threat”. Believe that s/he is in fear. Believe s/he is doing the best she can.
Refer them to a resource like us. Be a good source of information. Sharing info about community resources like Womanshelter/Companeras lets her know her options exist and s/he is not alone. Give these important hotline numbers:
Local: (413) 536-1628
Toll Free: 1-877-536-1628