- Believe her;
- Listen to her and let her express her feelings;
- Don’t judge her;
- Give her clear messages:
- Her safety and that of her children always come first;
- She is not the one provoking the violence;
- She is not to blame for her partner’s behavior;
- She can’t change her partner’s behavior;
- Excuses and promises won’t end the cycle of violence;
- She’s not alone;
- She’s not crazy;
- She’s not the violent one if she’s acting in self-defense;
- Violence is never acceptable, justifiable or tolerable;
- Violence is not caused by alcohol or drug dependency, stress, anger, or other external factors;
- Violence is a learned behavior;
- Violence is never justified by the victim’s behavior;
- Domestic violence can occur in all religious, cultural, and socio-economic groups, regardless of age and education level;
- Domestic violence is a criminal act;
- Violence against women is always the responsibility of the aggressor;
- Violence is not a loss of self-control; it is a means of control.
- Discuss with her the measures she can take to ensure her safety and that of her children, and let her make her own decisions;
- Find ways to stay in touch with her; you can also establish a code or a signal she can use in case of emergency.
In general: respect her choices and remain available to listen. Do not attempt to become an expert in the matter, as it can become burdensome for you. Instead, advise her to call a resource like ours to talk and help her see the situation more clearly.
However, if the safety of the woman and her children is threatened in any way, it’s important to call 911.
 Concertation femmes (2011), Comment aider une amie victime de violence conjugale, p. 8