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Do: *Approach the other person in a manner that allows for safety and confidentiality. *Express concern (i.e., “I’m concerned someone is hurting you and am concerned for your safety.”) *Listen and believe what they are sharing with you. *Communicate that they do not deserve to be hurt, and that the abuse is not their fault. *Help to normalize any feelings they may be having. *Respect the survivor’s choices. *Help them to find support systems and refer them to Domestic Harmony for free services. *Continue to educate yourself on the dynamics of domestic violence. Don’t: *Do not judge a survivor’s choices; do not judge or criticize their abuser or assume you understand everything they are coping with. *Do not pressure a survivor to leave the abusive relationship. It is never as simple as encouraging a victim to “just leave”.  It is okay to communicate to the survivor that help is out there, that you care about them/their children. *Be aware that there are many reasons a survivor stays and do not judge them for this. It is possible their abuser has threatened to hurt them or their children if they try to leave. The abuser may control all the finances. They may have isolated the victim from friends and family. The abuser may have promised to change, and the victim may still love him/her.

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