How Can I Help?


Do: Assure confidentiality, let the victim know if you must report

Do: Be understanding, non-blaming, honest, and supportive

Do: Listen and validate feelings

Do: Acknowledge the abuse, show concern

Do: Ask questions, help victim to identify abusive behaviors

Do: Remind them of their strengths, compliment them

Do: Assess for danger

Do: Express concern

Do: Offer help, refer to school social worker, guidance, administrator

Do: Share information about dynamics of abusive relationships

Do: Support their decisions, be patient, and offer support for as long as it takes

Do: Provide information:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
  • National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474
  • Your State Coalition Against Domestic Violence can be found at:
  • Safety plans
  • Legal information

Do: Remember that the most dangerous time for a victim is right after they leave the relationship; the victim needs to have a Safety Plan.


Don’t: Judge or blame

Don’t: Talk to victim & abuser together

Don’t: Pressure

Don’t: Place conditions on your support

Don’t: Assume victim wants to leave relationship

Don’t: Put down the abuser

Adapted from,, “Domestic Violence: The Facts”, and “Mass. Guidelines for Schools on Addressing Teen Dating Violence”