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CAUTION: An abuser rarely allows others to meet privately with the victim; asking abused women questions about physical, financial or mental abuse in the presence of the suspected abuser (or his supporters) places your loved one at greater risk for violence. Joint counseling, mediation or other efforts where the abuser and victim are together in the same room are dangerous.
CAUTION: The most dangerous time for victims of family violence is when battered women end or threaten to end their relationships. It may be very difficult for them to leave safely.
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How to Help a Friend


Some intimate partner violence victims do not consider themselves abused because they have not been physically beaten and most will not offer up the fact that they are being abused whether their abuse is physical, verbal, sexual, financial and/or emotional.

Start a conversation:

  • Does your partner/caregiver make you feel afraid or controlled?
  • What happens when you disagree with each other?
  • Does s/he put you down, threaten or hurt you?


Victims may use alcohol and medications or experience depression. A recurrent history of being ?accident-prone? is also a clue, as is an overly attentive partner who attempts to answer questions directed at your loved one, or one who bullies and criticizes her.

What Can You Do to Help?

  • Call 239.775.1101 24-hours a day for confidential support (TTY 239.775.4265; Outside Collier County call the Florida domestic violence hotline at 1.800.500.1119; TTY 1.800.621.4202).
  • Don't blame the victim - there are numerous reasons why she may stay. Why Does She Stay Booklet.
  • Suggest she discusses a safety plan with The Shelter's experts: 239.775.1101.
  • Tell her you are afraid for her, her children and/or pets; teach children to dial 911.
  • Let her keep extra keys and her Escape Bag at your house/office.
  • Be there when she needs you. Empower her to make decisions for herself and respect those choices.
  • Help with childcare, transportation, a place to stay, job, lending money, but do not risk your own safety!
  • Give her this web address: