Session 4 Tip Sheet: How and When
to Get Help

About Session 4
In session four, participants will discuss how and when to get help if they or someone they know experiences abuse. Please watch the LEAP Session 4 video and then review the information below to learn the main points of the training and how you can practice the concepts with the people who you support.

Main Points

How to Support

You should get help right away if:

  • your body is hurt,
  • someone says they will hurt you or someone you care about,
  • someone talks you into doing something you do not want to do, and
  • someone takes something that belongs to you without your permission.

Telling someone about an unhealthy touch or relationship may be very traumatic. It may take a long time before someone is ready to say what happened. Do not criticize the people who you support for not coming forward earlier.

Remind the people who you support:

  • that they should get help right away when someone hurts their body or says they are going to hurt them,
  • to tell if someone talks them into doing something they do not want to do, and
  • to tell if someone takes their belongings without their permission.

How to get help includes:

  • recognizing that you need help,
  • choosing who you need to contact, and
  • asking for advice and help.

Remind the people who you support that if someone hurts their body or their feelings, they can get help. They can look at their trust card to remember someone who they trust. If the person on their trust card is not available, they could ask someone else who they trust, or a police officer, case manager, or other mandated reporter.

People who can help includes:

  • the person on your trust card,
  • case manager/support coordinator,
  • some paid support staff,
  • doctors and nurses,
  • police officers/firefighters, and
  • lawyers.

With the people who you support, review the list of who can help if someone hurts their body or their feelings. Remind them that some people on the list are mandated reporters and are required to file a report to Adult Protective Services or call the police.

Give examples of what the people who you support could tell each person on the list.

If you are not sure if you should get help, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you physically hurt?
  • Are you in immediate danger?
  • Are you being disrespected?

If the answer is yes, you should get help by telling someone when you are ready.

Use these questions to help the people who you support to determine if they need to get help. This can help the people who you support practice making decisions in the future.

If someone asks you for help or if you witness someone else in an unhealthy relationship, you should:

  • believe in them and listen,
  • remind the person it is not their fault,
  • use the power statement, and
  • offer to help them get help.

Remind the people who you support of what they can say if somebody asks them for help, such as:

  • “I believe you.”
  • “It is not your fault.”
  • “You are strong. Your feelings are important. You deserve to feel safe. You deserve respect.”
  • “I can help you get help if that is what you want to do.”

Developed by the Partnership for People with Disabilities and the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019.
For more information, please contact LEAP.