Conversation Tips & Tricks:
You first. These conversations carry a lot of weight and you aren’t expected to be an expert. If you aren’t comfortable talking about domestic violence, it’s ok to use the following language to offer resources and then get the conversation back on topic.
“You were brave to share how you’re feeling with me. I’m here for you. I also want to make sure you have access to resources that may have more expertise. Would you allow me to share a few resources that might be helpful?”
“I’m hearing how upset you’ve been. Those feelings are valid and I want to help get the support you need, but I might not be the best person to help. Can I share a few resources with you?”
Emotional support. The most important role you can play for a survivor is to be a non-judgmental ear. Validate their feelings and allow them to share their experience.
“You deserve support. This abuse is not your fault. How can I help you?”
“I can hear how scared you are. It seems like a really difficult situation. Who else have you shared this with?”
Offer resources. It’s important to connect with professionals or helplines who are able to support survivors of domestic abuse. Utilize one or more of the above resources to ensure folks get a higher level of care when needed.
“You were brave to share what’s been going on with me. I’m here for you. I also want to make sure you have access to resources that may have more expertise in connecting you with help. Would you allow me to share a few resources that might be helpful?”