Some Warning Signs
1. Your friend's partner acts controlling and puts her down in front of others.
2. He is extremely jealous of any attention shegets.
3. She gets quiet when he's around and seems afraid of making him angry.
4. She has become increasingly isolated and is seeingless of friends and family.
5. She cancels plans at the last minute.
6. He controls her finances, her behavior and her social life.
7. You see him violently lose his temper, striking or breaking objects.
8. She often has unexplained injuries, or the explanations she offers don't quite add up.
9. She's mentioned his violent behavior but laughed it off.
What You Can Do
1. Gently ask questions about her situation. Just knowing you care can break through her isolation.
2. Listen to her without judging.
3. Tell her theabuse is not her fault.
4. Emphasize that when she wants help, it is available.
5. Give her the phone number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE.
Information provided by Liz Claiborne Inc. To request a copy of Liz Claiborne's handbook on relationship abuse, go to www.loveisnotabuse.com.
How Do You Begin a Conversation?
If you suspect a friend or coworker is being abused, sharing your concerns with her - rather than tentatively whispering them to a mutual friend - is the most helpful thing you can do. One conversation might not solve her problem, but it will remind her thatshe has an ally. We consulted Kim Wells, executive director of the CorporateAlliance to End Partner Violence, and Allegra Perhaes, vice president for domestic violence shelter programs at Safe Horizon, for some easyopening lines.