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What To Do When Your Friend is in An Abusive Relationship

Relationships in college can be especially hard to navigate and can cause unwanted stress at times. Abusive relationships can occur in any setting and are complex situations to deal with. If you believe your friend is in an abusive relationship, there are various resources that can advice you on how to help your friend and best support him/her. It can be extremely tough seeing your friend in an abusive relationship but remember that these situations don’t always have black and white answers and you cannot force your friend into action but instead try to open their eyes. Always practice self love and self care when navigating these situations and remember that your own mental health comes first. Below are some resources and additional advice: 


CARE stands for Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education and they are a resource center at UCSB that provides confidential advocacy to students, staff and faculty who have been impacted by dating/domestic violence and stalking. CARE is able to provide support to individuals in areas such as academics, finances, housing, medical and emotional. If a friend on campus is experiencing dating violence, CARE advocates will be able to give you confidential advice and support. Their 24/7 confidential number is 805-893-4613 and their office is located on the SRB.


CAPS stands for Counseling & Psychological Services and they provide mental health services to the UCSB student body. They provide services such as one on one counseling sessions, group therapy counseling sessions, mental health seminars and more. Services such as these would really help your friend in need as s/he would be able to reflect on their relationship. 

3. The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is an organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. Their website is filled with resources such as books, articles on how to identify abuse etc., legal help and more. There is also a section for family and friends which contains advice on the warning signs of an abusive relationship, information on support groups, and more. This organization can provide details on support and counseling groups in whichever area the survivor is in. P.S. Props to rapper, Logic, for bringing awareness to this!

4. Safety Plan

Create a safety plan for your friend and make sure s/he knows you are doing this in order to keep him/her safe. A safety plan should be created whether your friend decides to stay, leave or has already left. There are additional resources and information on safety plans on the National Domestic Violence Hotline website

5. Additional Hotlines

Here are some additional hotlines that you can call 24/7 for advice from professionals trained to help in these situations.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

National Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

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