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Mental Health Center

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Domestic Abuse - Home Treatment

If you know someone who may be abused

Here are some things you can do to help a friend or family member.

  • Let your friend know that you are willing to listen whenever she or he wants to talk. Don't confront your friend if she or he is not ready to talk. Encourage your friend to talk with her or his health professional, human resources manager, and supervisor to see what resources might be available.
  • Tell your friend that the abuse is not her or his fault and that no one deserves to be abused. Remind your friend that domestic violence is against the law and that help is available. Be understanding if she or he is unable to leave. Your friend knows the situation best and when it is safest to leave.
  • If your friend has children, gently point out that you are concerned that the violence is affecting them. Many people do not understand that their children are being harmed until someone else talks about this concern.
  • Encourage and help your friend develop a plan for staying safe while in an abusive relationship. Help if she or he is preparing to leave a violent relationship. Learn about how the person can stay safe after leaving.
  • The most dangerous time for your friend may be when she or he is leaving the abusive relationship, so any advice about leaving must be informed and practical.

The most important step is to help your friend contact local domestic violence groups. There are programs across the country that provide options for safety, support, needed information and services, and legal support. To find the nearest program, call:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), or see the website at
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free at 1-866-331-9474 or (1-866-331-8453 TTY).

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

If problems from domestic abuse become more frequent or severe, call your doctor to determine if and when you need to see your doctor or get other help.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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