We Can End Domestic Abuse
Yes, it is your business.
Maybe he’s your friend, your brother-in-law, your cousin, co-worker, gym partner or fishing buddy. You’ve noticed that he interrupts her, criticizes her family, yells at her or scares her. You hope that when they’re alone, it isn’t worse.
The way he treats her makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t want to make him mad or lose his friendship. You surely don’t want to see him wreck his marriage or have to call the police. What can you do?
Say something. If you don’t, your silence is the same as saying abuse is ok. He could hurt someone, or end up in jail. Because you care, you need to do something… before it is too late.
- Calling bad names or putting someone down
- Shouting and cursing
- Hitting, slapping and/or pushing
- Making threats of any kind
- Jealously and suspicion
- Keeping someone away from family and friends
- Throwing things around the house
What Can You Say or Do?
Draw attention to it.
- “Do you see the effect your bad words have on her?”
- “When you do that, it makes her feel bad.”
- “Did you mean to be so rough? That’s not cool.”
- "Tell him what you think."
- “I’m really worried about her safety.”
- “I’m surprised to see you act that way. You’re better than that.”
- “I care about you, but I won’t tolerate it if you abuse her.”
- “This makes me really uncomfortable. It’s not right.”
Express ideas about loving behavior.
- “Loving her doesn’t mean abusing her.”
- “Good husbands and partners don’t say or do those kinds of things.”
Offer suggestions or solutions.
- “Men should never hit or threaten the women they love.”
- “Kids learn from their parents. Is this how you want your son to treat women?”
- “How would you feel if your daughter chose someone who acted like this?”
- “Call me if you feel like you’re losing control.”
- “Maybe you should try counseling.”
- “You should talk to your faith leader and see what he/she suggests.”
If his behavior is criminal, tell him so.
- “Domestic violence is a crime. You could be arrested for this.”
- “You could end up in jail if you don’t find a way to deal with your problems. Then what would happen to you and your family?”
He May Not Like It
He may not listen. He may get enraged, deny it, ignore you or make excuses. He may want to talk about what she did to him. He may even laugh it off or make fun of you. Still, you need to say something. Your silence is the same as saying you approve.
Or He May Take You Seriously and Decide to Change.
If men learn to put down and abuse women from other men, they can also learn from other men how to respect women. When you decide that violence against women is unacceptable and choose to lead, other men will begin to think twice before they strike with their words or fists.
It isn’t easy or comfortable, but men must step up to the plate because next time, it could be your sister, mother, friend or co-worker. It’s the right thing to do.