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Learn to: See, Name and Check the warning signs and risk factors of abuse.

There are powerful societal reasons why seeing and naming abuse can be challenging in our community. Abusive behaviour makes people feel uncomfortable and/or afraid. The social norm to “mind your own business” is hard to overcome and people experiencing abuse can often have difficulty ‘seeing’ what is happening to them as abuse or even recognize the danger they are in.
As a society, we are trained in many ways not to see.

Learning to See it – Name it – Check it - is a matter of understanding it as a process of small steps.
SEE it:
Notice a gut feeling that something is not right
Find the willingness to look squarely at the situation
What are the warning signs? Are there risk factors involved?

NAME it:
Name your concern; to yourself first
Name your concern “I am worried about you…”
Name the reason for your concern; “I saw or I heard” JUST the facts!
Be careful not to judge or jump to conclusions – it may not be abuse

Don’t sit in isolation – overcome your hesitation
Check the situation; is it dangerous? Trust your instincts. If so, call 911 
Check yourself; don't try to fix it – ask questions
Check with a professional e.g. your office safety coordinator, HR Manager, woman abuse counsellor:  Name what you saw (just the facts) and then ask questions about what to do
Check it with the woman; is she open to hearing from you at this time? Are you the right person to ask her about the situation?

Be prepared to handle a disclosure – “I believe you.” “It’s not your fault.”
Visit the following weblinks for more information:
Caribbean Women’s Society at

Neighbours Friends & Family at

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Assaulted Women’s Helpline | 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