I am worried about someone else
You may have a sister, colleague, Mum, cousin, neighbour or friend who is experiencing violence. Your friend or family member may:
- seem afraid of their partner or is always anxious to please their partner
- stop seeing friends and family
- have become anxious, depressed, withdrawn or have lost their confidence
- say their partner is jealous, possessive or has a bad temper
- have bruises, sprains or cuts on their body
- says their partner continually phones or texts when they are not together
- be reluctant to leave their children with her partner
- say their partner pressures or forces them to do sexual things
- say their partner controls their money
- be harassed or followed after they have left the relationship.
Your response is very important and can make a real difference. If someone feels supported by the people around them, they are more likely to explore their options.
If you are approaching your friend or family member to talk about domestic violence, wait until they are alone and it is safe to speak. Say something like “I’ve noticed you seem really unhappy lately and I’m worried about you. Are you ok?” Don’t push them into talking if they are uncomfortable, but let them know that you’re there if they need to talk.
Important things to remember are:
- let them know you believe them by telling them outright or saying things like “I’m so sorry” or “I’m glad that you told me”
- let them know that it is not their fault by telling them outright or saying things like “No one deserves to be treated like this” or “It’s a crime”
- let them know you are there for them (“I’ll do what I can to help you”) and that there are services available that can help. Tell them about the Domestic Violence Line, available on 1800 65 64 63
- look after yourself. Supporting a friend or relative who is being abused can be frustrating, frightening and stressful. You may wish to speak to someone about it. Lifeline is a 24 hour support service and can be contacted on 13 11 14.