@23: If you're determined to keep talking, here are some recommendations from professionals on how to keep the conversation productive
10 Helpful Things To Do Or Say To Someone Who Is Being Abused:
1. Open a dialogue. “Are you ever afraid of _____________’s temper?”
2. Show concern. “I am afraid for your safety.”
3. Appreciate the danger they are in. “I’m afraid the danger will get worse.”
4. Commit to being supportive. “I will always be here for you.”
5. Listen. “If you ever need to talk, I will just listen and not give advice.”
6. Value the victim. “This is not your fault and you do not deserve to be abused.”
7. Compliment the victim. Help to counter the toll that the verbal abuse may be taking on their self-esteem.
8. Make observations, not judgments. “I’m worried about you; you don’t laugh as much anymore.”
9. Offer to help in ways you can. Set clear and fair boundaries you are comfortable with.
10. Ask questions that focus on her/his feelings. “That sounds scary to me, how do you feel about it?”
5 Things Not To Do Or Say:
1. “Just Leave.” Please see the “Why doesn’t the victim just leave?” section
2. Give an ultimatum. This assists the batterer in isolating the victim further and cuts off their support system.
3. Bad-mouth the batterer. This may cause the victim to be defensive of the batterer and will make it “unsafe” to confide in you.
4. Disbelieve or demand proof of the abuse. You are not a judge. If they feel unsafe, that is all that should matter to you.
5. Tell the victim what they “have to do.” Domestic violence is about power and control, and if a victim is going to heal, they must regain control themself. Do not give advice, or tell the victim what they need to do, or what you would do. It is good to help the, discover their options, but the decision must be theirs alone.