So -- on September 21 we are asking people to "take a moment to talk" about domestic violence. That leads to the question: "What do you say to someone if you are concerned that they may be in an abusive relationship?"
Here is a pretty good way that I've found to talk with someone -- granted this is my style and everyone has a different style, but it goes something like this:
"You know I really care a lot about you. I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately, and that (and you would fill in here the other things you've noticed -- like that the person seems afraid of their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, has unexplained injuries, seems isolated, etc.). I would rather be wrong or have you mad at me for asking than ever have anything bad happen to you so I just have to check in with you and ask -- are you safe in your relationship?"
Because really, if you think about it, that is the point, isn't it? You WOULD rather be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable asking, or be wrong rather than have something bad happen to a friend of yours and not say something.
And -- so what if your friend tells you that he or she is fine? Then say "Hey, that is great. But if you ever decide you aren't ok, I want you to know my door is always open."
And then you may want to check in again with your friend again in a few weeks just to see how things are going. People don't always tell you right away when they are in a relationship that is not safe or good for them. It takes time and it is not easy.
For help or advice anytime and in 160 languages, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Take a moment to talk on September 21. Maybe you can help change a life.