If you know or suspect that a friend, family member or colleague is experiencing domestic or family violence, you can help.
Before you get started, it can help to validate what you are seeing or feeling in your gut. Ask yourself the following questions and if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions below, the person you care about may be experiencing domestic or family violence.
- Do they cancel plans frequently or miss work?
- Have they become more isolated since the start of their relationship?
- Do they seem nervous or frightened around their partner?
- Do they have to ask their partner for money to buy things like food and other essentials?
- Does their partner seem possessive or jealous?
It’s up to all of us to act to end violence in our communities.
Try these steps to support the people you care about.
Sometimes a victim survivor just needs you to listen and believe them and that is enough.
Ask them what they need and how you can help
Be guided by your family member or friend on how you can help. Don’t jump into action unless they ask you to.
Stay in touch
If they become distant or withdrawn, it’s important to keep a line of communication open by letting them know you are here to talk whenever they need. Their support network is critical.
Share support services with them
Let them know that services like DVConnect can help and are free to access.
Provide validation rather than blame
Avoid asking questions like “Why don’t you leave?” or “Your kids shouldn’t be exposed to this.” Leaving is one of the most dangerous times and the survivor knows better than anyone else how to keep themselves and their children safe. Victim-blaming is not OK.
Call us for free advice
You can call DVConnect on 1800 811 811 to get more information about how to support a loved one impacted by domestic and family violence.
The Be there app is a free domestic violence bystander app which gives you the tools to recognise abuse, validate what you are seeing, and help you to support someone without putting either of you in danger. Click the image below to find out more.