"I Just Work Here" presents: No Fairy Tale

I don't think subtlety has ever been a trait people attribute to Allison.

Her advice is solid, though: if you know someone who's in an abusive relationship, the absolute best thing you can do for them is talk to them. Let them know you're there for them. It seems like such a small thing, but really it's huge.

Outside of getting the person to talk, develop an action plan in case something goes very wrong. Make sure they have an alternate place to stay if they need out of their home. Make sure they have emergency numbers handy and know which number to call based on their situation. Basically, you're helping them develop what's known as an "action plan," but this only works if they develop it with you. Giving a victim of an abusive relationship a list of things and saying "This is what you do" doesn't tend to work very well. They need to be comfortable with and agree to all the items on the plan, otherwise you can all but guarantee they will not follow it.

It's also worth noting these action plans don't need to be made AFTER a relationship turns out to be violent and abusive; if your friend is seeing indicators something may be wrong, putting together a preemptive action plan is a great idea. Be prepared. But for those already facing abuse, the plan needs to be urgent and comprehensive.