1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service.It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to reduce violence under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.If you are approaching your friend or family member to talk about domestic violence, wait until they are alone and it is safe to speak.Say something like “I’ve noticed you seem really unhappy lately and I’m worried about you. ” Don’t push them into talking if they are uncomfortable, but let them know that you’re there if they need to talk.
If you don’t panic and do your best to make them feel safe, then it is pretty likely that they will continue to seek your advice.Some important things to remember: In May 2016 1800RESPECT launched their Support a Friend Campaign to help Australians recognise the signs of domestic, family and intimate partner violence and how best to support someone experiencing it.To view the full campaign please click on the link above to be redirected to the 1800RESPECT website.Many people still feel love and commitment to the relationship, and may feel protective of the person using violence.In thinking about the sort of help you may be able to give, it is important to know that your support may be required over a long period of time.Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.Please contact us here should you wish to discuss your options as a friend or family member further. We do not make any sound recordings of our conversations, but we do record that we spoke to you. If you are unsure, please speak to our crisis workers at the commencement of the call.You don’t want to scare your friend by worrying, starting an argument or blaming them.Listen to your friend and let them open up about the situation on their own terms. It may be very hard for your friend to talk about their relationship, but remind them that they are not alone and that you want to help.It is important to “stick with” the person but at the same time, be clear about your limits.Think carefully before “having a word” with the person using violence.