Tools for Friends & Family

Yes, it is your business!

What Can You Say to a Victim?

Adapted from: Sarah Buel, Esq., in “Courts and Communities: Confronting Violence in the Family,” Conference Highlights, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 1994.

What About The Abuser?

Maybe he/she is your friend, your cousin, co-worker, gym partner or fishing buddy. You’ve noticed that your friend interrupts his or her partner, criticizes their family, yells at them or scares them. You hope that when they’re alone, it isn’t worse.

The way your friend or family member treats his or her partner makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t want to make your friend or family member mad or lose his or her friendship. You surely don’t want to see him or her wreck his or her relationship or have to call the police. What can you do?

Say something. If you don’t, your silence is the same as saying abuse is ok. Your friend or family member could hurt someone, or end up in jail. Because you care, you need to do something… before it is too late.

What Can You Say or Do?

Your Friend or Family Member May Not Like It

Your friend may not listen. He or she may get enraged, deny it, ignore you or make excuses. He or she may want to talk about what happens. They may even laugh it off or make fun of you. Still, you need to say something. Your silence is the same as saying you approve.

Or They May Take You Seriously and Decide to Change

Domestic violence is a learned behavior. Abusers learn that it’s okay to men learn to put down and abuse women from other men, they can also learn from other men how to respect women. When you decide that violence against women is unacceptable and choose to lead, other men will begin to think twice before they strike with their words or fists.

It isn’t easy or comfortable, but men must step up to the plate because next time, it could be your sister, mother, friend or co-worker. It’s the right thing to do.

Listen. Teach. Lead. Help Stop Domestic Violence

If you are concerned about the safety of your friend’s partner or spouse, or to learn about services in your area, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224 or contact The Center at (530) 626-1131 or (916) 939-6616.