Community Intervention With People Who Harm

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.