Learn more about domestic violence
Everyone deserves to be safe
What Sojourn can offer you
Scope of the problem
safety tips and helping friends
Make a difference volunteer
Your friend, family, or co-worker
Steps to remain safe anywhere
Other Domestic Violence resources


Know Yourself
Take the time to figure out what you value and like about yourself.If your partner doesn’t appreciate those things, they may be the wrong partner. Take the time to figure out what kind of person you want to date. Don’t let that initial attraction blind you to qualities you don’t admire. Pay attention to how you feel about yourself when you are with your partner. If you’ve lost touch with what you used to like about yourself and are feeling bad about yourself, you’re probably with the wrong person.

Know Your Partner’s History
Ask around and find out why past relationships ended. Was there jealousy, control or violence? Pay attention to how your partner treats people. Is your partner constantly putting people down, making fun of them or making sexist comments? These attitudes may be turned on you someday.

Communicate Clearly
Make clear to your partner how you expect to be treated. Let your partner know you will not tolerate any kind of abuse.Be honest in your communications. You are responsible for meaning what you say. Being coy and manipulative is not sexy.
It is dangerous.

Avoid Dangerous Situations
Avoid places where you’ll be alone until you get to know your partner. Double date or hang-out together with other friends. Let someone know what your plans are for the evening and about when you expect to be home.

Be in Control
Don’t be helpless or "in debt" to a dating partner. Have your own way to get home in case of emergencies. Pay your own way. Don’t use alcohol or other drugs. These substances can severely hamper your ability to think clearly and act quickly if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Be Careful
Think twice about going out with someone who: uses alcohol or other drugs; enjoys pornography; wants to be in control of where you go, what you do, who you see; drives recklessly, especially with you in the car; says they will kill themselves if you leave them…this is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship.

  • Educate yourself about the myths and facts of abuse and share this information
  • Express your concern and support for them
  • Practice active listening techniques
  • Let them make their own decisions and accept their decisions as right for them at this time
  • Don’t judge their decisions
  • Be calm when discussing the issue
  • Recognize and praise the good qualities and strengths you see. It takes strength to survive and cope.
  • Tell them they did not cause and do not deserve the abuse
  • Tell them they cannot limit or stop the abuse
  • Encourage them to be who they want to be
  • Help them clarify their feelings
  • Never condone the abuse; state your belief that no one deserves to be beaten.
  • Don’t be a mediator
  • Encourage them to confide in a trusted adult
  • Confide in a trusted adult if you believe the situation is getting worse
  • Be aware that violence escalates in frequency and severity
  • Recommend professional help if the situation is serious
  • Remember you can’t rescue them if they aren’t ready to be helped
  • Understand that getting out takes time
  • Never put yourself in a dangerous situation with the victim’s partner. It may encourage your friend to discount the danger that both of you are in.
  • Tell them that assault, even in an intimate relationship, is against the law


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