How to Help an Abusive Friend

Does your friend…

  • Seem possessive and/or jealous when their partner goes out or talks to other people?
  • Make decisions for their partner, such as what to wear, where to go, or what to do?
  • Prevent their partner from doing something they normally would?
  • Check up on their partner by calling or texting them excessively?
  • Put down their partner or talk disrespectfully about their partner?

Nobody wants to believe their friend could be abusive. Abusers are often well-liked and charming, and typically hide their behavior behind closed doors. Abusers generally don’t stop abusing until and unless they’re held accountable for their behavior. If you’d like to help, here are some ideas:

  • Speak up. Let your friend know which of their behaviors bother you and why.
  • If your friend calls their partner names, says degrading things about them, or mistreats them in front of you, don’t tolerate it. Staying silent = acceptance.
  • Remember to take care of yourself. Ultimately, it’s up to your friend to want to change and take steps in that direction.

Next: Why is it hard to leave an abusive relationship?