Domestic Violence – The role of the community

Larlyn Property Management spreading awareness for domestic violence to make their communities

We wouldn’t think twice about grabbing the keys from a neighbour, friend or family member if they were about to drive under the influence of alcohol to prevent an accident or death.  Playing your part in preventing domestic violence should come just as natural. 

The community plays a role… but what can you do?

How can you identify and help those affected by Domestic Violence in your community?

 1) Be Observant and know the warning signs and risk factors:

Overly critical Nervous around partner
Domineering Makes excuses for partner’s behaviour
Un-trusting Makes excuses for why they can’t participate socially
Over protective Hides bruises
Exaggerates own good qualities Avoids the public
Superior to others in their home Appears sad, lonely, withdrawn, afraid

 2) Take Action

  • Ask questions
  • Talk to them about what you see and assure them that you are concerned and believe they need to seek help
  • Leave literature privately so they know help is available

If they deny the abuse:

  • Assure them they can talk to you any time
  • Don’t become angry or frustrated with their decisions – they may not be ready
  • Try to understand why they might be having difficulty getting help

If High Risk situation, call community resources or 911 if necessary.

Did you know there is a checklist to identify if the potential abuser is “High Risk?”

  • Access to victim and children
  • Access to weapons
  • History of abuse with victim or others
  • Threatens to harm or kill her if victim leaves abuser
  • Threatens to harm victim’s children, pets or property
  • Has threatened to kill themselves
  • Has hit or choked victim
  • Going through major life changes (e.g. job, separation, depression)
  • Convinced victim is seeing someone else
  • Blames victim for ruining their life
  • Doesn’t seek support
  • Watches victims actions, listens to telephone conversations, sees emails and follows victim
  • Has trouble keeping a job
  • Takes drugs or drinks every day
  • Has no respect for the law
  • Victim has just separated or is planning to leave
  • Victim fears for their life and for their children’s safety
  • Victim cannot see the risk
  • Victim is in a custody battle, or has children from a previous relationship
  • Victim is involved in another relationship
  • Victim has unexplained injuries
  • Victim has no access to a phone
  • Victim faces other obstacles (e.g. does not speak English, is not yet a legal resident of Canada, lives in a remote area)
  • Victim has no friends or family
  • Statistics indicate that women who are under 25 years of age, women with a disability, Aboriginal women and women living common-law are at higher risk of abuse.

Not sure if it’s a sign?  it’s a sign!

 3) Don’t hesitate – get past your fear of making things worse.  Not taking action will do just that:

It’s none of your business It could be a matter of life or death.  Violence is everyone’s business
Your 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 on recognizing the signs, ways you can help and overcoming  your hesitation to help,   visit  

Neighbours, Friends and Families is a campaign to raise awareness of the signs of woman abuse so that people who are close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man can help. Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to prevent woman abuse. You can reach out to organizations in your community that support abused women and those that can help abusers.