You can provide help and support for a friend or loved one who is experiencing abuse, or who is an abuser.

How Can You Help a Friend or Loved One Experiencing Abuse?

Express your concern. Accept that your friend is in a very difficult, scary situation. Let your friend know that the abuse is not their fault, you believe them, and you are concerned about their safety. Encourage your friend to express their feelings and get help.

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  • Remember that it may be difficult for your friend to talk about it
  • Respect your friend’s right to make decisions
  • Offer to go with your friend when they seek help
  • Plan safe strategies with your friend, including:
    • Leaving an “emergency kit” at your place that contains:
      • Clothing
      • Toiletries
      • Important documents
    • Having a code word your friend can use to signal a need for immediate help
    • Discussing the safest places in their home if the abuser becomes physically violent
  • Understand that you cannot “fix” the situation
  • Read the brochure linked below called “It Shouldn’t Hurt to Go Home.”

Abuser Intervention

How to Help Someone Who is Abusive

There is help available for people who are abusive towards their partners.

Abuser Intervention Programs (AIP)

Abuser Intervention Programs (AIPs) in Maryland help people who have been abusive to their partners learn to change. Participating in AIPs is a first step in learning that there are better, alternative ways to deal with relationships than using violence and control. In a group setting, participants learn about power and control and the effect of abuse on their partners and children. They also build new relationship skills.


The Maryland Abuse Intervention Collaborative (MAIC) seeks to ensure quality AIPs throughout Maryland. You can read more about MAIC by clicking the button below.

Certified Programs in Maryland

The Family Violence Council of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services is responsible for certifying AIPs in Maryland. You can find a list of programs that are currently certified in Maryland by clicking the button below.