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Domestic Violence: Recognise It, and Help

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Recognise It

The following signs could indicate that your friend is a victim of domestic violence:

For some time she has been quieter and seems to withdraw into herself

She suddenly puts an end to conversations, telephone or in person, when her partner shows up

When her spouse is around, you feel unwelcome

You noticed she had bruises or cuts

She confided in you that her partner was possessive or jealous

She participates less than before in social gatherings, frequenting you less as well as your mutual friends.


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Help

How to help a friend who is a victim of domestic violence


If you're worried about a friend, you can ask her a few questions that show you care, such as, “You don't seem very happy. Is everything okay at home?” This gives him the opportunity to open up and confide in you.

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Be patient. Listen to her and avoid judging her. It's up to her to make her decisions, when she's ready to do so.



You may lose contact with her for a while. You may feel angry or frustrated, but be patient.


You need to tell her that she is not to blame for her partner's violence and remind her that he is solely responsible for her behavior.

Being honest with her will help her realise that her relationship is unhealthy.


Also remind her that spousal abuse is a crime and that if the law is broken, the police have a duty to investigate.


Avoid openly criticizing your spouse. She might be ashamed of herself and, as a result, stop confiding in you.


Encourage her to seek immediate, confidential help from the police, a crisis line, or an abused women's shelter.


If she knows she has the unwavering support of family members or friends, it will be easier for her to make a fresh start in life.


If your friend is in real danger, you will have no choice but to immediately call the police.

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