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Importance of Having a Support System

When experiencing or recovering from domestic abuse, being able to talk to people you trust about your situation is invaluable. There are many benefits to having a support system, like reducing personal distress, gaining an outside perspective, receiving encouragement, increasing your ability to deal with stress, and even enhancing your mental health and self-esteem. Your support system can include whoever you trust to listen to and support you, and can offer genuine help or advice if you want it. This can include family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or professionals. You can also receive trained support from advocates or organizations focused on whatever your situation calls for.

There are also other ways you can find people to support you. Getting involved in social groups that meet regularly can connect you with others who are looking to form friendships, meet goals, or learn. This can take the form of fitness classes, crafting groups, book clubs, educational classes, volunteering, or support groups.

The purpose of having a support group is so that you don’t feel like you’re going through life alone. Receiving help can make a large difference in your life, and help can come in ways you wouldn’t expect. Even reaching out about something that seems unimportant can give you connections to resources that you wouldn’t have thought to ask about. Having people who care about you keeps you motivated and focused.

It’s never too late to start your own support group. It can begin as simply as picking up the phone and calling someone you trust- or even doing more research on how to get involved with others. You can contact Peace at Home if you have any questions about our services, or other local resources that may be able to help.



Peace at Home offers weekly support groups to survivors of domestic abuse. You can contact advocates at 479-442-9811 for more information. Groups are held in both English and Spanish.

“What do I do if my friend needs help?”

Abuse or assault is not a fun thing- to go through, to talk about, or to deal with. It can be hard to know what the right or wrong thing to do or say is. If someone trusts you enough to share that they have been abused, you can help them in a lot of ways.

1. Listen to and believe them.

Sharing their story can sometimes be just as traumatic as the actual event, so if a survivor wants to talk about it, listen. Try not to ask a lot of questions, and let them know that you care about them.

2. Know abuse is never the victim’s fault.

Sometimes it can be easy to believe that something ‘set off’ or ‘caused’ the abuser to act. The only person responsible for the abuse is the person who abused. Let your friend know that they are not in the wrong, and deserve to be treated better.

3. Find local resources that offer help.

It can be hard to know where to start when dealing with a stressful situation. Reach out to organizations that can help in relation to the abuse. The Peace at Home Shelter offers transitional housing, legal representation, and support with finding employment and support groups. We also offer community referrals. Other organizations have many of these same resources. You can also suggest making something like a Family Safety Plan, which is easily tailored to fit whatever emergency that may occur.

4. Respect their decisions.

Many survivors do not want to report the assault or abuse, or tell anyone else about what occurred. They know their situation better than you do, so let them make the calls.

5. Continue to support and help them.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a survivor is be their friend. Being able to discuss what’s happening with someone can help release stress, clear up any confusion about the situation, and re-establish healthy connections. Do your best to genuinely be there, even after the situation is resolved.

If you have any questions about domestic abuse or assault, or need help, contact Peace at Home Shelter’s Crisis Hotline at 479-442-9811.