Supporting women facing abuse

This resource, called “How Can I Help My Friend,” is an excellent product from Battered Women Support Services in Vancouver. The guide gives tips on how to support a friend dealing with abuse. 


The BWSS emphasizes education, reminding allies that “the better informed you are, the better you will be able to help her.” This tip sheet offers practical and valuable advice for supporting survivors, without pressuring, judging anyone's decisions, or assuming realities about someone else's situation. While many people understand the importance of these concepts, this guide does a great job of translating these rules into a fairly comprehensive list of real-life strategies that can provide support for a survivor.


Some of most poignant suggestions:


-don’t use your friendship as a bargaining chip: “if she is not ready at this point to make major changes, do not take your friendship away from your friend”

-you’re not saving anyone: “your role as a friend is to support, not rescue”

-help your friend design a safety plan

-know your place: “don’t ever think you know what I should do…I am still the expert about me”

-support, don't pressure: “don’t place me in a position of living up to your expectations”


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