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If someone you know is being abused you need to first address any immediate safety needs. If that person is currently in danger- ask him/her if he/she wants you to call the police or an ambulance. Once a victim's immediate safety needs have been met, the most important thing you can do is listen.
It is important to relay to the victim that "No one deserves to be abused", and that he/she is not alone. Do not tell the victim what to do. There are so many reasons a person chooses to stay- Do not place any negative blame on his/her actions. Let the victim know she is not responsible for the abuse, and that only the abuser can stop the abusive behavior.
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Domestic violence not only affects those who are directly abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.