This page is geared toward violence against women because the majority of reported
domestic violence is perpetrated against women by males. It is important to
however, that violence occurs to males at the hands of females as well. Neither
gender is without violent thoughts. There is nothing wrong with
thinking those thoughts. It's the actions one chooses.
Any form of violence against another is unacceptable behaviour.
- Do you know someone in a battering relationship? Do you suspect a friend,
relative, or someone you know is being abused? If so, don't be afraid to offer
help... you just might save someone's life. Here are some basic steps you can
take to assist someone who may be a target of domestic violence.
- Approach her in an understanding, non-blaming way. Tell her that she is not
alone, that there are many women like her in the same kind of situation, and
that it takes strength to survive and trust someone enough to talk about
- Acknowledge that is it scary and difficult to talk about domestic violence.
Tell her she doesn't deserve to be threatened, hit or beaten. Nothing she can do
or say makes the abuser's violence OK.
- Share information. Show her the
List, Violence and Non-Violence
Wheels. Discuss the dynamics of violence and how abuse is based on power and
- Support her as a friend. Be a good listener. Encourage her to express her
hurt and anger. Allow her to make her own decisions, even if it means she isn't
ready to leave the abusive relationship.
- Ask if she has suffered physical harm. Go with her to the hospital to check
for injuries. Help her report the assault to the police, if she chooses to do
- Provide information on help available to battered women and their children,
including social services, emergency shelter, counseling services, and legal
advice. To find this information, start with the Yellow Pages.
- Inform her about legal protection that is available in most states under
abuse prevention laws. Go with her to district, probate, or superior court to
get a protective order to prevent further harassment by the abuser. If you can't
go, find someone who can.
- Plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship. These are often
called "safety plans." Never encourage someone to follow a safety plan that she
believes will put her at further risk.