What You Can Do if You Know the Abuser
It is important to consider your own safety any time you are dealing with an abuser. Depending on the circumstances, some of the actions below may be appropriate. Use your judgment.
If you see or hear an incident of domestic violence, you can:
- Call the police. It’s important to involve the police if you or someone else is in danger or safety has been threatened.
- Create a distraction to interrupt the behavior.
- Speak up and let the abuser know their actions are not OK.
Note: Even if you do not know the abuser or the victim, as a bystander you may be able to take the actions above.
If you think someone you know is abusing their partner, you can:
- Talk to them about your concerns. Keeping quiet about the abuse lets them continue to deny that there is a problem and makes it easier for them to continue abusing their partner.
- Make sure they know there are consequences for being abusive, including:
- being arrested;
- going to jail or being placed on probation;
- losing their partner and family;
- losing support from friends;
- losing their job; or
- having their guns taken away.
Note: Be careful if you decide to talk to the abuser, even if you believe it is safe for you to do so, especially if you didn’t witness the incident. He may think the victim has been talking to you, and that could put the victim at risk. Abusers are generally threatened by anyone who attempts to help the victim in any way.