Safety first for the abused person and children caught in the middle of the relationship. Realize that the children may also be abuse victims. Even if they are not being hit, children are damaged emotionally by seeing violence between their parents. When a woman comes to you with charges of abuse, listen to her. BELIEVE HER. Don't try to downplay the gravity of what has happened. Tell her that if he has hit her, he's likely to do it again. Tell her that it is your intention to help her and that your conversation is private. You will not share it with anyone, including her husband. If she's not ready to leave the relationship, recommend that she develop an emergency plan for getting out and away from her abuser safely. Her emergency plan should include a kit with cash, bank records, medications, a change of clothing for herself and her children, and their birth certificates. Have a safe place known only to a select few where abuse victims in your church can hide their emergency supplies. Find out if she needs shelter. Then, help her get there. Have a list of emergency shelters available to share with the victims in your community.