Before We Get Started
Resources and support
If you yourself are experiencing intimate partner violence and are in immediate danger, call 911, or for local support in Contra Costa County, please call STAND! for Families Free of Violence at 888-215-5555.
STAND! offers a complete spectrum of prevention, intervention, and treatment programs, enlisting the efforts of local residents, partners, and institutions, all of whom are striving with STAND! to stop domestic violence and child abuse. Contact STAND! at 888-215-5555, visit their website at http://www.standffov.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live, or the person you are supporting lives in another area, visit WomensLaw.org to find advocates and shelters throughout the United States.
You may also call one of these national hotlines for support:
National Domestic Violence Hotline -- 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224
National Sexual Assault Hotline -- (800) 656-HOPE.
If someone you know is experiencing abuse or you think they might be experiencing abuse here are some things you can do (1).
What can you do?
Follow your instinct and if you feel like you should talk to them about what might be going on, do so. The worst that could happen is that they don’t want to talk – and even then, they at least know that you care.
Be sure to approach them in a confidential manner, at a time and place without interruptions. When bringing up the topic of domestic violence, remember to be nonjudgmental. They may be embarrassed by the situation, and you might be the first person they are telling.
Consider starting with a simple comment and question like, “You seem a bit preoccupied and stressed. Do you want to talk about it?” Give them the space to share what they want to share with you. Don’t pressure them.
If they do open up to you about the abuse, listen to what they have to say. Your role is not to fix the problem for them – sometimes, listening can be the most helpful. You might want to pass along some information to them. If it feels appropriate, pass on the number of The Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
If they give you permission, you can help them document the instances of domestic violence in their life. Take pictures of injuries, write down exact transcripts of interactions, make notes on a calendar of the dates that things happen. Documenting the abuse might help the victim to obtain legal aid later on.
If they been open with you about their situation, you can help them learn about their rights. Women’s Law is an excellent resource for information on domestic violence laws and procedures. Browsing this website with them or giving them the link can provide them with crucial information.
If this is a coworker, introduce them to the security guard, or volunteer to meet the security guard with them if they’d like help. Keeping a security guard at the office in the loop can help deter your coworker’s abuser from stopping by, make sure your coworker is escorted safely to and from the office space, and more.
Ask if they’d like to create a safety plan. If you’re having trouble coming up with a safety plan on your own, call The Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224 for assistance.
Above all, remember that just supporting them, no matter what, can make a difference. Respect their decisions – you may not know all of the factors involved. They may not do what you want or expect them to do. Instead of focusing on being the one to solve the problem for them, focus on being supportive and trustworthy in their time of need.
WomensLaw.org - Advocates and Shelters. This resource allows you to enter your state in the drop-down menu to find a list of programs that can offer help/referrals throughout the state. They list shelters, local programs and programs that serve the whole state. Please remember that shelters often provide many other services besides shelter, such as support groups, crisis counseling, and safety planning assistance. Accessed at https://www.womenslaw.org/find-help/advocates-and-shelters
Building Your Case: How to Document Abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Accessed at http://www.thehotline.org/2014/05/12/building-your-case-how-to-document-abuse/. Click here to download this resource.