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- She seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and is afraid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.


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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



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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