The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines ‘domestic violence’ as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and economic and emotional/psychological abuse.”
If you know someone experiencing violence in their home or relationship, you can take steps to help them move towards safety.
- Don’t judge people or situations. Instead, show empathy.
- Avoid telling the victim to leave. They likely already know this, but do not feel safe doing so. Start discussing the idea of creating a safety plan.
- Don’t insult the abuser. Unfortunately, that could potentially lead someone to defend his/her abuser.
- Become the victim’s confidante. Listen to everything. Make note of your observations. The day may come when you are needed as a witness to the abuse.
Additional things you can do to help a friend or family member start working on a safety plan are here on the NCADV’s website.
** October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
If you or someone you know needs help immediately, call 911. To report domestic violence, call 800-799-7233. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can also be reached via text or chat if it is not safe to make a call.