Signs that a friend or family member may be experiencing abuse...
- Loss of confidence; seemingly withdrawn
- Missing work or turning down social engagements
- Becoming anxious or quiet when their partner is around
- Receiving an extensive amount of phone calls or texts from their partner; having to "check in"
When it comes to the cycle of domestic violence, silence is a survivor's worst enemy.
If you know someone who may be experiencing abuse in one or more of its many forms, you may feel like you don't want to intrude on their personal business, or maybe you're not sure what to say...
There are many reasons why someone may not leave an abusive situation, but it should never be because they weren't asked.
What to say to your loved one...
- Make sure they know you care; let them know what is concerning you
- Do not make blaming statements, like, "Why don't you just leave?" or "If they did that to me I would..."
- Remain calm and help them connect to domestic violence resources; establishing a safety plan with an advocate is essential
- Let them know you are there for them no matter what they choose; they may not be ready to leave
- Be as nonjudgmental as possible; judgment will only isolate them all over again
Do Not try to intervene directly if you see a person being assaulted.
Always dial 911 in the face of danger.