Some warning signs of Gender Based Violence
- They don’t want to seek help for themselves
- They blame you for ruining their life
- They might have trouble keeping a job and blame you for any failures
- They show no respect for the law
- They use drugs or drink alcohol regularly
Signs of abusive behaviors
- They act like they are superior and of more value than others in their home
- They lie to make themselves look good or exaggerate their good qualities
- They try to keep you away from your support systems
- They try to suggest that they are the victim and act depressed
- They are always keeping tabs on where you are and what you are doing
- They put you down
- They do all of the talking and take over any conversation
- They act as they own you
What happens if they deny being abused?
If they have children of their own, let them know that you are worried about their safety and wellbeing as well. Sometimes our friends and loved ones are more willing to look for help if they see how their children might be affected.
Let them know that they can talk to you at any time.
They might be experiencing feelings of shame. Try to understand that it might be difficult for them to reach out and ask for help.
If you don’t agree with what they decide to do, don’t get upset or angry. They might be afraid to take the next step.
Offer your support by being there for them physically and emotionally.
Hesitant to help…
You might know of abuse happening to a neighbour, friend or family member, but it’s not always easy to know what to do about it. You might tell yourself that you don’t want to make the situation worse, but you also want to help. Speak up, SPEAK OUT!
I am concerned about…
- I don’t want them to become angry with me
- I don’t know what to say
- I might make things worse
- I feel like it is none of my business
- I am scared the abuser will target me and my family
- It is not serious enough to involve police or other officials
- They don’t want to leave, because they keep going back
- It doesn’t involve me
- If they wanted help, they would have asked
But I should consider…
- The power of showing that I care can make a big difference.
- By doing nothing I could be making the situation even worse.
- It could be a matter of life or dearth; Violence affects us all.
- If my wellbeing is under threat, I can also go to the police.
- Police are trained to handle situations like this and can help.
- They might not have had the right support.
Making a Safety Plan Living with an abuser
- Find someone that you trust, and tell them about the abuse
- Find a place you can go to in an emergency
- Create a plan to leave the home safely if you feel threatened
- Ask your neighbours to call the police if they hear sounds of abuse
- If there is an argument, move to a space where you can get outside easily
- Keep things like your keys, cellphone and money near your escape route
- Have a list of emergency numbers to call for help
- If you have children in the house, include them in your safety planning
Confronting an abuser
Should I, do it?
Because abusive behaviour does not go away on its own, confronting abusers is one crucial aspect of preventing ongoing Gender-Based Violence. You do not have to go through this alone; there are programmes in your community that can help you battle toxic masculinities and abusive behaviours.
Never confront an abuser if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if they are in a dangerous or emotional state, or if there are children nearby that could get caught in the crossfire.
Abusers denying their behaviours
- Abusers will often try to reduce the impact of their behavior when explaining their actions
- They could say that it isn’t that bad, or even blame the victim
- When abusers deny their behavior and shift the responsibility, it is best to seek outside assistance
- When you communicate with an abuser, keep your conversation focused on family safety and wellbeing
- If you are worried about your safety at home, or if you are worried about the wellbeing of someone you know, speak up, speak out!
Important Contact Numbers
POLICE: 112 / 10111
STOP GBV HELPLINE: 0800 150 150
GBV CRISIS CENTRE: 0800 428 428
CHILDLINE: 0800 055 555