Russell House

Empowering victims of domestic and sexual abuse by providing confidential services so that they may live their life violence free.


Phelps County Family Crisis Services, Inc. 

A safe place for victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Serving Crawford, Dent, Maries and Phelps counties since 1994

24 Hour Domestic Violence Crisis Line 1-800-998-8340

24 Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-570-3703


Supporting a Victim of Violence

When someone close to you has been a victim of abuse, it can be an upsetting and confusing time as a friend and/or family member. Through countless testimonies of victims of abuse, a sensitive and supportive response from family and friends is helpful in the recovery process of the survivor. The following are some suggestions of ways you can help:

  • Don't blame the victim: there is only one person responsible for the domestic and/or sexual violence, the abuser/perpetrator
  • Believe: It is important that you believe the victim.
  • Reassure: This is not the time when you need to be questioning.  It is not important what the survivor did or did not do, you need to make it clear that you still value and care about the him/her.
  • Be there to listen: Do not be afraid to talk about the domestic and/or sexual violence.  If you pretend that it did not happen, it will only increase the survivors loneliness.  Let it be known to the victim that it is safe to express his/her feelings.
  • Accept: The survivor is probably scared, angry and feeling overwhelmed with many emotions.  Recognize that all these emotions are normal considering the trauma experienced.  Be there to listen, do not advise.
  • Provide support without taking over: It is a normal response to want to help the survivor and to become overprotective.  Let the victim know that you are there now and you will be in the future for him/her.  Do not do everything for the survivor, it is important that he/she take back the power over their life.
  • Be aware:  Although it is not uncommon for you to feel angry when someone close to you has been abused and/or assaulted, be aware that the survivor may feel that the anger you are expressing and experiencing is directed at him/her.
  • Be patient: Recovery does not happen quickly or how you may think progression should take place.  Each individual recovers at his/her own paces and in the best way that he/she feels comfortable with.  Patience is critical as a supporter of a victim of violence.

For additional information on supporting a victim of violence, click here