How can I support a friend who has experienced violence?
It can be hard finding out that someone is experiencing family and domestic violence. You can make a big difference by listening with respect and empathy. Do not try to take control of the situation, or make judgments. The person may feel trapped and out of control of their life. If you try to tell them what to do, you could make things worse. It is better to listen without judgment, and to offer to help the person connect with support services, so they can make their own choices about what to do.
Ways you can help:
- In an emergency, call triple zero (000)
- Listen to the person with respect and empathy. Do not judge or express opinions about the situation or the people involved. Do not tell the person what to do
- Never blame the person for what has happened to them
- Remember that family and domestic violence is not just physical – it can take other forms (see above)
- Help the person in practical ways – e.g. with transport, somewhere to escape to
- Help the person to connect with support services such as a University Respect Officer or 1800RESPECT. If the person doesn’t feel ready to connect yet, you can seek support on their behalf.