Do Something About It
You can play an important role in preventing domestic violence!
Green Dot Lexington Bystander Intervention
Bystander intervention is a proven way members of the community can directly help prevent violence. Special training is provided to help participants learn to intervene safely and effectively before violence occurs. You may consider hosting a bystander intervention training for members of your community and organization. Green Dot Lexington is available to provide free trainings for communities. Visit the Green Dot Lexington website at www.lexingtonky.gov/greendot.
There’s an endless number of ways you and your community can be proactive and help prevent intimate partner violence. Here are a few ideas to begin with:
- Believe that domestic violence is unacceptable and say it out loud
- Don’t blame survivors for harm committed against them
- Have conversations with your friends, family, coworkers, and community members about ending violence
- Model healthy behaviors and relationships
- Host trainings to help others better understand domestic violence
- Be knowledgeable about local survivor resources
- Help people in the community see that intimate partner violence prevention is for everyone, not just a women’s issue or men’s issue
- Speak up when you hear a sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or racist joke or comment
- Check in with friends if you are concerned about their safety and get them connected to local resources
- Hold a roundtable discussion to explore ideas others in your community have about prevention
- Create policy or guidelines for what your organization will do when someone uses violence and how to hold them accountable
- Provide safety and support to community members that are survivors; make space for them to share their experiences.
- Provide intimate partner violence resource materials to members of your community
- Make a financial contribution or volunteer with local services providers
- Make domestic violence prevention part of your organization’s orientation process
In order to ensure all survivors are safe and supported, we must work to end all forms of violence, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, nationalism, ableism, anti-Semitism, and all other manifestations of inequality. Doing so, however, means challenging the many deeply held attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that contribute to violence. This includes challenging inequality, power in decision making, ideas about public lives versus private lives, and ideas about individual and collective responsibility. This may be a lifelong pursuit, but here are a few simple ways to begin:
- Find ways to incorporate and actively model respect and equality in your daily life
- Learn about your own prejudices and discover ways to challenge them
- Explore your own identities and advantages you’ve received because of them; practice humility
- Create ways to build community with people of different cultures and identities
- Acknowledge injustice and act with humility
- Speak up when you see a group targeted with unjust treatment
- Share skills, knowledge, and resources
- Expand your capacity of empathy
Supporting a Survivor Directly
You can offer numerous types of support, including emotional, financial, and practical support. Below is a list to get started with brainstorming, but it is in no way comprehensive.
- Storing the survivor’s essential documents, belongings, or important items at your house so they remain safe
- Providing money for a security deposit on a safe apartment
- Helping them open a bank account
- Opening your home to the survivor’s pet if the person using violence has threatened to harm it
- Providing transportation to work, school, appointments, etc.
- Attending appointments with the survivor to provide emotional support
- Providing childcare when needed
- Assisting with keeping documentation of the abuse by photographing injuries and keeping a calendar of incidents
- Researching local laws and sharing what you have learned with the survivor so they can make informed decisions
- Learning more about local survivor support agencies, many of which provide services free of charge
- Connecting the survivor to local resources, such as counseling and legal services, advocates, etc.
- Connecting the survivor with supportive organizations, like an LGBTQ resource center or cultural center
- Visiting the survivor so they don’t have to be alone with the person using violence
- Supporting a survivor’s sobriety
- Listening to the survivor or acting as a sounding board to correct mind games and emotional abuse
- Running errands or helping with household repairs
Supporting Change in Someone Who Uses Domestic Violence
- Learn more about domestic violence so you can recognize abusive behaviors
- Do not support their attempts to justify or minimize the severity of their behavior
- Connect them to professional resources to help those who use domestic violence
- Encourage them to continue to learn and improve behavior
- Help someone who uses violence in their relationship to realize the consequences of their behavior
- Remind them they are not entitled to forgiveness from the survivor
- Encourage them to take responsibility for their own behavior and not to blame their partner when things don’t go the way they want
- Don’t ignore violence that you hear about or see. Your silence helps the abusive person to deny that their behavior is wrong.
- Attend a Green Dot training to learn safe strategies for intervention before violence occurs
- Be clear that violence is always a choice, and that it is preventable.
- Acknowledge that it takes courage to talk about violence and to seek help to change.
- Don’t give up. Behavioral changes can take a long time.