- Check in with friends on a regular basis, especially when they start dating someone new. Pro-tip: know the name of the person your friend is dating.
- Be open with your friends about relationships. What’s good, what’s bad, what’s not okay. The more we talk, the harder it is for dating violence to hide in our community.
- Pledge to believe, support and stand with survivors when they come forward.
- Talk to them. Ask how they’re doing. Assure them you’re there if they need you.
- Listen, believe, recognize, encourage and support. They are the expert on the situation and it’s not your responsibility to fix it.
- Keep it about your friend and not the abuser. They may break up with them, they may not, either way, you want your friend to feel at ease talking to you.
- Do not, under any circumstance, contact your friend’s abuser directly, or share damaging things about them on social. It could put your friend in danger.
- Suggest they go to a trusted adult like a guidance counselor or teacher. Or, encourage them to call the Willow hotline at 585-222-SAFE (7233). It’s 24/7, free and confidential.
- “I am sorry this is happening to you.”
- “I care about you and I know talking about this is hard.”
- “This is not your fault.”
- “You don’t deserve to be treated this way.”
- “You have the right to be safe.”
If you feel unsafe in your relationship, and are unsure what to do, you have options.
- Talk to a school counselor, teacher or other trusted adult.
- Call the Willow hotline at 585-222-SAFE (7233)—it’s 24/7, free and confidential.
Willow provides free and confidential services to the Greater Rochester Community. From education and prevention to emergency and crisis situations, Willow operates under the belief that everyone has a right to be safe.
- 24/7 Crisis and Support Hotline 585-222-SAFE (7233)
- 49-bed Emergency Residential Shelter
- Individual and Support Group Counseling
- Court Advocacy Program
- Prevention Education and Training
For more information about Willow, or to learn more about intimate partner violence: