Community intervention takes collective effort and practice. Talk with the victim before doing anything to reduce the potential for retaliation. Discuss your plans to maximize safety; suggest that they call a hotline or a local agency to conduct a safety plan.
- The simple act of someone saying something, intervening and naming abusive behavior is enough to get people thinking about how they treat the people around them.
- Trust your intuition. Warning signs make themselves know, so if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable or crosses a line–note it and remember it. Red flags should not be ignored.
- Be involved but be respectful. Don’t get yourself or victims in a dangerous situation. Don’t try to fix other people’s relationships. Getting too involved by force may put the victim at risk. Discuss with the victim before proceeding with intervention.
- When talking with an abuser, let them know that you think the use of any violence in a relationship, including threats, is unacceptable and that there’s never a reason for it. Nothing their partner does makes it okay for them to hurt their partner.
- Tell them that domestic violence, including stalking, is a crime and that their abusive behavior can put them in jail.
- Let them know that there is help in the community to end their abusive behavior. Contact one of the local domestic violence programs to find a certified batterer’s treatment program in the area.
- If at an university, discuss your university’s policies on abuse, physical and sexual violence, and harassment.
- Display anti-violence posters and educational materials in your environments.