Get Help/Help a Friend
Chances are you know a woman who is in a violent relationship -a friend, co-worker or family member. Reach out to her. Letting her know that you are concerned can break through the stigma, isolation, shame and denial of domestic violence. Speaking up against domestic violence tells abusers and the rest of the community that domestic violence is totally unacceptable.
Warning Signs that someone you know is being abused:
- Frequent unexplained bruises or injuries, or the explanations just don't add up.
- Becoming unusually quiet or withdrawn especially when her partner is around.
- Frequent absences from work or quits work.
- Stops talking about her partner.
- Wears concealing clothes even in warm weather.
- Often cancels plans at the last minute without saying why.
- Seems afraid of making her partner angry.
- Casually mentions her partner's violent behavior but dismisses it as "no big deal."
- When with her partner, he gets controlling and puts her down in front of other people.
- You see the partner violently lose his temper, striking or breaking objects.
How to help a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor you think may be experiencing domestic violence:
- Talk in a safe, private place.
- Take time to listen and believe what you hear.
- Let her know there is no excuse for the violence - not stress, not alcohol or drugs, not jealousy, not anything.
- Don't judge or criticize her decisions.
- Encourage her to make her own choices, but urge her to talk to a counselor or someone who knows about domestic violence.
- Give her information in a safe format and discreetly.
- Let her know that many other people are in abusive situations and tell her about agencies that can help.
- If she remains in the relationship, continue to be her friend while firmly expressing your concern for her safety and the safety of any children involved. Remember that for many battered women leaving an abusive relationship can take time and be dangerous.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about domestic violence or sexual assault and how to help someone suffering from an abusive relationship, please do not hesitate to call our experienced counselors and staff at 405.624.3020.