Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to prevent woman abuse.

Here are some warning signs:
- He puts her down
- He does all the talking and dominates the conversation
- He checks up on her all the time, even at work
- He tries to suggest he is the victim and acts depressed
- He tries to keep her away from you
- He acts as if he owns her
- He lies to make himself look good or exaggerates his good qualities
- He acts like he is superior and of more value than others in his home
- She is apologetic and makes excuses for his behaviour or she becomes
aggressive and angry
- She is nervous talking when he’s there
- She seems to be sick more often and misses work
- She tries to cover her bruises
- She makes excuses at the last minute about why she can’t meet you or she
tries to avoid you on the street
- She seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and is afraid
- She uses more drugs or alcohol to cope

Ways to Support Her
When you recognize the warning signs of abuse there are ways to help her.
- Talk to her about what you see and assure her that you are concerned. Tell her
you believe her and that it is not her fault.
- Encourage her not to confront her partner if she is planning to leave. Her safety
must be protected.
- Offer to provide childcare while she seeks help.
- Offer your home as a safe haven to her, her children and pets. If she accepts
your offer, do not let her partner in.
- Encourage her to pack a small bag with important items and keep it stored at your
home in case she needs it.
- Know that you or she can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, your local shelter,
or, in an emergency, the police.

Overcoming Your Hesitation to Help
Here are some concerns you may have about whether you should help:
- You feel it’s none of your business
- It could be a matter of life or death. Violence is everyone’s business
- You don’t know what to say
- Saying you care and are concerned is a good start
- You might make things worse
- Doing nothing could make things worse
- It’s not serious enough to involve the police
- Police are trained to respond and utilize other resources
- You are afraid his violence will turn to you or your family
- Speak to her alone. Let the police know if you receive threats
- You think she doesn’t really want to leave because she keeps coming back
- She may not have had the support she needed
- You are afraid she will become angry with you
- Maybe, but she will know you care
- You feel that both partners are your friends
- One friend is being abused and lives in fear
- You believe that if she wanted help, she would ask for it
- She may be too afraid and ashamed to ask for help
- You think it is a private matter
- It isn’t when someone is being hurt

For more information:
Neighbours Friends & Family at www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants https://ocasi.org/

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services http://www.women.gov.on.ca/owd/english/about/index.shtml

Assaulted Women’s Helpline www.awhl.org | 24 Hours | 7 Days a Week | 200 Languages | Confidential The Helpline provides free crisis counselling, emotional support, safety planning, information and referrals to all women in the province of Ontario. GTA: 416-863-0511 Toll Free: 1-866-863-0511 TTY: 1-866-863-7868