35 25TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE Is someone you know being abused? If you think that someone you know is being abused by a family member, it is important to act in a way that is safe and appropriate for everyone involved. Family violence is not a private matter You might be concerned about getting involved because you feel that family violence is a private matter and none of your business, but it's important to remember that someone's life may depend on it. Signs that someone may be a victim of abuse Pay attention if someone... •seems sad, withdrawn, afraid or otherwise acts like they may be a victim of abuse. • is unreasonably angry or aggressive. • is nervous when a particular family member is around. •makes excuses for a family member's behaviour. • is sick or misses school or work a lot, or takes paid or unpaid time off that seems related to an abusive situation. •has a change in job performance: poor concentration, mistakes, slowness, inconsistent work quality. •tries to cover bruises. •drinks more than usual or uses drugs. Or if you see... • "put downs" from one family member to another. •one family member doing all the talking or dominating the conversation when the other family member is present. •one family member trying to keep another family member away from her/his work or other activities. •one family member acting as if he/she "owns" another. •a family member contacting another while at work to say something that might scare or intimidate her/him. What you can do Family violence is never the victim's fault. The most important thing that you can do is offer your support without any blame or judgement... •Make sure everyone is safe- Choose a time and place where you can have a private conversation. Be careful about communication-a voice message, text or email could put someone in danger. Never confront an abuser or do anything that makes you feel unsafe. Get support for your own feelings from a friend or professional you trust. •Let the person be in charge - Listen respectfully to what this person needs; don't try to take over. Don't give details about why you're concerned; just say that you want to be supportive. WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED Public Health Agency of Canada Agence de la santé publique du Canada