TurnAround is the rape crisis center for Baltimore City and County.

After hours Crisis line: 443-279-0379

Supporting a Partner Going
Through Abuse

Listen, be patient and do not judge.

  • Affirm your partner and your support consistently.
  • Deal with your feelings on your own and/or seek out your own support system (including counseling – see Trauma Therapy); do not lean on your partner to support you. She/he is unable to do that right now or about her/his own abuse.
  • Do not pressure your partner to engage in sex or any sexual activity she/he is uncomfortable with at any time. Allow she/he to let you know what is comfortable and what is not as well as the timeframe that is comfortable for her/him. This does not have to do with you, but with the past abuse.
  • Pay attention to possible triggers – did her/his behavior change when you touched her/him a certain way? Ask (without judging). Certain behaviors and/or touch will be triggering.
  • Be patient. Seek counseling to gain support.
  • Research about survivors of sexual abuse and/or assault.

Feeling overwhelmed is normal!

You may have difficulty knowing what to say or do to help your loved one; you do not have to have all the answers. There is no perfect reaction to hearing that someone you care about has survived an act of sexual violence, but here are some helpful tips:

Topics Include:

  • Listen and be patient.
  • Assure the child that they are not to blame for the abuse.
  • Tell the child you believe them.
  • Ensure the child feels safe and remind them that they are safe now.
  • Tell the child they did the right thing by telling.
  • Assure the child that they did not deserve the assault/abuse
    (being out after curfew, going somewhere without permission, etc.)
  • Address the child’s concerns and feelings of confusion, shame, fear, betrayal, and guilt.
  • Communicate with the child/teen in a way that they can understand.
  • Try not to force a child to talk about their experiences if they aren’t ready.
  • Seek counseling for yourself and your child.
  • TurnAround provides therapy services to supporters of child survivors of violence.
    Call TurnAround for support at 410-377-8111.

How to Support a Child Witness of Domestic Violence

  1. Talk to them about safety and create a safety plan
    • Identify emergency contacts
    • Identify safe hiding spots for child(ren) to access when an altercation escalates
  2. Seek counseling for yourself and your child

Additional Support/Self-Care

It is important to practice your own self-care while you also try to help your loved one. You may find yourself experiencing anxiety, fear, anger, helplessness or a variety of other things after finding out about a loved one’s abuse.
Therapy is not just for survivors it is also for supporters. Therapy is an open, non-judgmental space to work through problems or challenges. In therapy, you may learn new coping skills, ways to deal with your feelings, and strategies to help cope with traumatic incident. Counseling is a place you can explore thoughts that you might not say out loud to a friend or family member.
Learn More

For Appointments

Call Us: 410-377-8111

Any Questions?

Email Us: info@turnaroundinc.org