If you are abused: • Call the police if you have been assaulted.

• Tell someone. Talk to a friend, a family member, a doctor or a counsellor.

• Write down the details of the assault as soon as possible.

• Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency phone numbers and know where you can stay in an emergency.

• Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it’s everyone’s right to live without fear.

• Without intervention, his violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.

If you are abusive: • You need to take responsibility for your behaviour. Your wife or girlfriend does not make you hit her.

• Your violence will increase if you don’t take action to stop.

• Blaming your violence on drugs, alcohol or sickness and apologizing after the violence will not solve the problem.

• Physical violence and threats of violence are crimes. You face fines or imprisonment if convicted.

• You can begin to change with support.

what you can do to help a friend who is in an abusive situation Do: • Believe her.

• Listen and affirm her feelings without judging her.

Give a clear message that: • She does not cause abuse.

• She is not to blame.

• She can not control her abusive partner’s behaviour.

• Apologies and promises will not end the violence.

• Abuse is not loss of control; it is a means of control.

• Violence is never justifiable.

• The safety of the victim and the children is always the first priority.

• Talk with her about options and help her plan for her and the children’s safety.

• Give her the time and space to make her own decisions.

Respect her need for confidentiality.

Abused women need support and encouragement in order to make choices that are right for themselves. But there are some forms of advice that are damageable and even dangerous for them to hear.

Don’t: • Tell her what to do, when to leave or when not to leave.

• Tell her to go back to the situation and try a little harder • Suggest you try and talk to the partner and straighten things out.

• Tell her that she should stay for the sake of the children.

Reprinted from Pindigeyabig, the family violence newsletter in Maniwaki. Info: 819-449-7425