Empathize

You’re already a support person to someone.

Your role as a

Support Person

Chances are you already know someone impacted by domestic violence. Whether you’re a friend, family member, neighbour, colleague or classmate, you’re in this person’s natural support network.

Consider the

Trade-offs

There are many trade-offs people consider when deciding what actions to take in a relationship where they are experiencing violence. One of the best ways to acknowledge those trade-offs is by respecting the person’s choice and finding ways to support them with the issues that are of most concern for them.

CONSIDER THE TRADE OFFS

Leaving isn’t always safe.

Everyone wants a safe and healthy relationship but sometimes the cost of leaving feels too high. Leaving can actually be the most dangerous time, either because their partner is dangerous or because they’re facing homelessness, deportation, loss of status or financial catastrophe if they choose to leave. Leaving doesn’t make the abuse stop.

CONSIDER THE TRADE OFFS

Social Stigma is real.

There are many social stigmas around domestic violence that can make someone fear they’ll be shamed for their experience, not believed, or not be supported for their decisions.

CONSIDER THE TRADE OFFS

Shame is real too.

Whether this person is the one experiencing or using the violence, the cost of reaching out for help or changing their behaviour comes with a tradeoff. By asking the right questions, you can offer support to people using violence too, and help understand the root cause leading them to violence.

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