Feeling uncomfortable about getting involved? Here are some things to think about.
*Things you might be worried about:
It’s really none of my business
- It could be a matter of life or death. Violence in the community is everyone’s business.
I don’t know what to say
- Say “I care”, “I believe you” and “It’s not your fault.” Showing you are concerned is a good start.
I might make things worse
- Doing nothing could make things worse – abuse often gets worse over time.
It’s not serious enough to involve the police
- Police are trained to respond – and even if the behaviour is not criminal, they know about other resources to help families experiencing abuse.
I’m afraid he might turn violent with me or my family if I interfere
- Speak to her alone. Let the police know if you receive threats. Be sure to say if there are weapons available.
I don’t think she really wants to leave because she keeps coming back
- Maybe she does not have the support she needs to overcome obstacles - no money, no place to live, no job, no babysitter, no transportation, etc.
They are both my friends
- If one friend is being abused and living in fear, you should be supportive to both. They may be upset you interfered, but when they are ready, they can turn to you for help.
I should wait until she asks for help
- She may be too afraid and ashamed to ask for help.
If he wanted help or wanted to stop his behaviour he would
- He may be too ashamed to ask for help.
Isn’t what happens in the privacy of the home a family matter
- It isn’t when someone is being hurt – it’s wrong and it is against the law.