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Violence in another person's life?

Most people who are affected by abusive and violent behaviour turn first to family and friends for support. What you say or do therefore can be vitally important. Your support and encouragement can assist them to feel stronger and more able to make decisions. The most important thing you can do is to listen without judging, respect their decisions, and help them find ways to become stronger and feel safer.

Check how the person is feeling and where they are at in their thinking about what to do. Help them explore their choices such as calling ODVSS, developing a safety plan and/or leaving the situation.

Also support them to carefully consider the consequences of each option. Avoid saying negative things about the person who is using abusive and violent behaviour. Many people still feel love and commitment to the relationship and may feel loyalty and protective of the person using violence, and may take your criticism personally.

In thinking about the sort of help you may be able to give, it is important to know that your support may be required over a long period of time. It is important to "stick with" the person but at the same time, be clear and honest about your limits.

Think carefully before "having a word" with the person using violence. Think about the possible angry reaction directed at either you or the person subjected to abusive and violent behaviours that may follow from your good intention.

Keep clear in your mind and your conversations that abusive and violent behaviour is unacceptable and there is no excuse for it.

ODVSS, Offaly Domestic Violence Support Services
Cormac Street, Tullamore, Offaly, Ireland
   E-mail: info@odvss.ie
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