What If I Think Someone I Know Is Being Abused?
Maybe she's your friend, the woman next to you in exercise class or the waitress who pours your morning coffee -- and she's a victim of domestic abuse and she needs help. What can you do?
First, if she won't talk to you about what is happening to her or if you feel reluctant to broach the subject, please call
Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh’s 24 hour hotline
at 412-687-8005 or toll free at 1-877-338-TALK (8255)
Women’s Center offers free, confidential advocacy to “significant others” – friends and family members of women whom they suspect are being abused by their partners.
Keep in mind -- many victims of domestic violence don't believe they have value as a woman, a wife, a partner. Often they're convinced they deserve the abuse they receive.
Domestic violence situations can be extremely dangerous --not only for the woman who is being abused-- but also for her children, her loved ones, her friends and co-workers. Women’s Center offers the following information as only a guide – remember not to involve yourself directly in volatile or potentially volatile situations, but always first consider calling police or referring a friend or loved one to a domestic violence agency or shelter for help.
How can you tell someone may be abused by her partner? Here are some of the warning signs:
- Does she try to hide injuries under long sleeves or pants, or have bruising on her torso?
- Does she frequently miss work, social events or family gatherings?
- Does she exhibit bruises in various stages of healing – from deep purple/black to brown or yellow?
- Are her injuries consistent with someone defending herself? (On her hands, feet or on the outside of her arms – areas that would be on the “receiving end” of blows if she was curled up in a defensive posture?)
- Is she reluctant to invite people to the home she shares with her partner?
- Does she appear to be the submissive partner in a relationship with someone who is overly controlling?
If you suspect someone you know is in an abusive relationship:
- Let her know that it’s okay and safe for her to talk to you about it.
- Reinforce with her that you are there to listen to her, no matter what time of the day or night.
- That's the first step toward healing – for her to know that she is not alone, in spite of the very isolating circumstances and feelings that domestic violence creates.
Call our 24-hour Hotline at 412-687-8005 or
toll free, 877-338-TALK (8255) for help or more information.