You would call 911 if you saw a drunk driver strike a pedestrian.
You might even call the police if your neighbors are playing loud music.
What if you heard or saw intimate partner abuse?
Many people consider intimate partner abuse to be a private family matter. Bystanders and witnesses often exempt themselves from taking action with thoughts like, “It isn’t my business,” or “I don’t want to get involved.” We believe intimate partner violence is a community issue and requires a community response. This means everyone must respond in safe, constructive ways.
You should never physically intervene. This could be dangerous. Dialing 911 should always be a first response. Setting off a car or property alarm could distract the abuser until law enforcement arrives. Remember to consider your personal needs for anonymity. Many times helpers are reassured if they know their identity will remain confidential.
Take a few minutes today to really think about how you would respond in a safe way. Somebody’s life may depend on it.
(Trigger warning: this video includes a survivor’s testimony that recounts her physical abuse.)
(Video via Youtube.)
This post is part of our 17 Days/17 Ways Campaign to end intimate partner abuse.