Be more than a bystander....Break the silence

SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please use a computer in a safe place, or call 911. You can leave this site quickly by clicking on Quick Escape

Note:  Any visit to a website is recorded in your browser history. If you have experienced family violence and are using a computer that is shared with your abuser, use extreme caution to clear your browser history when you are finished visiting this site. If you do not know how to clear your browser, search the help available for your particular browser or use a public computer if possible.

How to Support a Family Member or Friend

Many people who live with family violence don’t tell others or ask for help. Most often, the only way family and friends know that something’s wrong is by recognizing the signs of family violence:

  • frequent injuries from what the victim calls “accidents”
  • increased isolation from family and friends
  • jumpiness, depression or anxiety
  • loss or decrease in self-esteem as a result of the abuse
  • avoidance of any form of confrontation
  • dramatic change in manner, mood or physical appearance
  • excessive coping behaviours: over-eating, smoking, substance abuse, gambling
  • expressed fear of partner
  • partner’s jealousy or possessiveness
  • constant criticism from partner

If you know or suspect that a family member or friend is living with family violence:

  • Let them know that the abuse is NOT their fault.
  • Be supportive and listen.
  • Let them know there is help available and help them find resources.
  • Do not give up on them, even if they are not accepting of help at first.


Note: Resources and services for people living with family violence are voluntary. If you call an agency for help on behalf of a family member or friend, the agency will give you suggestions on how to assist your loved one. Agencies cannot help victims unless they are willing to accept help. People caught in the cycle of violence often reject help at first. Don’t force them into getting help. Be supportive and give them the time they need to want outside help.


Neighbours, Families and Friends: 
A Guide on Helping People in Abusive Relationships

Without help, abusive relationships only get WORSE.

Help is available

Contact one of the resources (see link below) for more information and find out how to create your own protection plan. If you are in an abusive relationship, or you know someone who may be, call 1-877-977-0007.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911

Where can I go for help?

How do I make a protection plan?