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 the abuser may become violent toward me or my family if I interfere
- Speak to the victim alone. Let the police know if you receive threats. Be sure to say if there are weapons present.
I don’t think they really want to leave because they keep going back
- Maybe they do not have the support needed 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 can be supportive to both. The abuser may be upset you interfered, but when they are ready, they can turn to you for help.
I should wait until they ask for help
- Victims may be too afraid and ashamed to ask for help.
If the abuser wanted help or wanted to change their behaviour they would
- Abusers 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.