How You Can Help
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How You Can Help

Tools for Everyone

Many of us come into contact with domestic violence victims and perpetrators as parts of our work life and our personal life.  Knowing that these cases are both complex and dangerous, we can struggle with what it is we can do, where we are.

Knowing what to say can be a hurdle for the most well-intentioned person.  Many people say that don't ask about family violence because they fear that they are wrong, or that the person will say it is indeed happening, and they won't know what to say or do next.  You don't have to have the magic answer.  Her are some possible signs that it's time to ask if your friend, co-worker, or family member is being abused. The person you know:

  • Declines social invitations, has become more withdrawn or isolated.

  • Seems anxious or unusually quiet when their partner is around.

  • Has lost confidence.

  • Dresses heavily for the season.

  • Seeks medical attention at various locations instead of with the same provider.

  • Misses work often.

  • Receives unusually high numbers of calls from their partner.

There are some basic message you can convey to any victim to help increase safety:

  • I care about you, and I am worried for your safety.

  • I understand that it is not easy to leave.

  • I will be here for you even if I don't understand all of your choices.

  • There is an 800 line in Georgia where you can talk to an advocate, anonymously, if necessary: 1-800-33-HAVEN (1-800-334-2836).

  • Talking to an advocate and making a safety plan doesn.t mean you have to go to a shelter or leave your partner today.

There are some important messages you can convey if you talk to any abuser.  This of these messages as offering an abuser an opportunity to take responsibility and to change:

  • Your behavior is going to drive the people you love away from you.

  • Your behavior could land you in jail.

  • You can change your behavior.

  • Your children are learning to fear and resent you.

  • Your violence won't stop because you promise it will; you need help from an expert to stop your violence.

  • Your behavior has really affected me.  I will support your getting help, but I won't cover for or ignore your violence.  It.s not okay with me for you to continue to be violent.

Finally, after knowing and saying some important things, there is the doing..  For each of us, this is at a minimum providing information about where to get help for victims and abusers.  Depending on how we come to know about these situations, there is must more we can do.