Here are some ways that you can help someone who is being abused.
What you can do or say:
- Name the abuse that is happening.
- Do not make excuses for the partner’s behaviour, blame the victim or make it seem like a normal experience.
- Offer to help them explore their options and provide information and contact numbers for services and supports for the entire family.
- Let them know you believe them and make it clear that no one deserves to be abused – It’s not their fault!
- Where possible, tell the victim that you can help with such things as transportation, babysitting, a loan , letting them make phone calls or use your computer, offering a place to stay, and so on.
- Tell the victim that children exposed to family violence may be considered victims of child abuse.
- Explain that anyone who suspects a child is living in an abusive home has an obligation to report it to Child Protection.
- Encourage them to make a safety plan and to contact agencies that can help.
- If they feel that they are in immediate danger, tell them they can use your phone to call the police (911) or the nearest shelter – or you can call for them.
- Tell the victim that they are at increased risk of harm and that they should consider telling the police about any firearms. Mention that there is a toll-free number victims can call to report concerns about a firearm - Canadian Firearms Program - 1-800-731-4000.
- If they cannot take a pet with them and they are concerned it may be harmed, you can offer to look after it for a while or find someone who can. Tell them there is a province-wide service that temporarily shelters the pets of those leaving abuse. To participate, they can contact the nearest transition house or domestic violence outreach office. For more information about this service, contact the NBSPCA at email@example.com.
- Tell the victim about others who can help them – a community service provider in the area of health, social service, law enforcement, and education or justice services. Remember, the abuser may be looking for help too and may need services and programs to help end the violence.
- Tell the victim that you believe in their strengths and that you are willing to help whenever they need you.
Courtesy of PLEIS-NB