What Not To Do
If you are supporting a friend who is experiencing domestic or family violence there are a number of things you should avoid doing. These include:
- telling them what to do;
- confronting the abusive partner or family member. This can be dangerous for you and your friend (the victim);
- letting them know you are disappointed if they don’t do what you have suggested or if they go back to their partner once or several times;
- making comments that imply they are to blame for the abuse; and
- trying to mediate between the partners.
Getting involved doesn’t mean you have to solve the situation. If someone turns to you for help and support it means helping them find their own answers. You cannot ‘save’ them and it is important not to be disappointed if they don’t do what you think they should. Leaving a violent relationship is difficult, it can be dangerous and it may take time.