I don’t know what to do.
Why should I get involved?
Isn’t someone else’s relationship none of my business?
I don’t really know what’s going on – maybe it’s nothing.
I don’t know what to say.
Think about this: If we all speak up when we see domestic violence, we’re building a culture of safe and healthy relationships.
We can stop domestic violence in our community by looking out for and supporting our friends.
13% of LGBTI people experiencing domestic violence or abuse in their relationship will stay in that relationship for 6 years or more.
Research indicates that one in three LGBTI people experience domestic or family violence, which is similar to levels experienced by non-LGBTI women.
Domestic violence and abuse can sometimes look different within Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities but there are also many types of domestic violence that are similar to the experiences of non-LGBTI women.
What can I do?
Talk to your friends about their relationship/s. It’s ok to ask if they’re ok. Some things to remember when talking to a friend or family about domestic violence are:
- Make sure it is safe for your friend or family member to speak, and that they are on their own.
- If your friend or family member doesn’t want to speak, respect their decision. They may not be ready to talk, or they could be feeling scared or ashamed. It might take a while to for your friend/family member to be comfortable talking about domestic violence, but once you voice your support they will know that they can talk to you.
- When your friend or family member is ready to talk, it’s important to believe what they say. Talk to them about how they’re feeling, and offer your help if it is safe to do so.
- Be mindful that you don’t tell your friend what to do – you’re a friend offering support, not an expert.
- Don’t try and talk to the abuser about their behaviour.
- Reassure your friend or family member that domestic violence is not their fault.
Another Closet gives lots of information about how to give support or find help, and this resource Supporting someone who experiences Domestic Violence has some great tips for talking to friends and family if you think there is violence or abuse happening.
Remember: You’re a friend, not an expert. It’s ok to ask a counselling or domestic violence service for guidance on what to do – try the services listed below.