Respond in a supportive manner. . .
There are things you can do to be supportive to your co-worker or
employee. People in abusive relationships aren't there because there's
something wrong with them. Rather, they are people who have become
trapped in relationships by their partners' use of violence and
coercion. The better able you are to recognize and build on the
resilience, courage, resourcefulness and decision-making abilities of a
woman in this situation, the better able you will be able to help her.
As a manager, friend or co-worker,
your willingness to help her can
be important in her safety planning efforts. She is probably facing a
lot of uncertainty and change in her life and probably feels quite
fearful. Being willing and well-intentioned is good; being prepared to
offer the kind of help she needs in this situation is even better.
Encourage, but don't pressure her to talk about the abuse.
Respect her need for confidentiality.
Listen to her. Support her feelings without judging her.
Let her know that she is not alone. Domestic assault happens
to many women.
Reassure her that the abuse is not her fault. She is not to
Give her clear messages that: she can't change her partner's
behavior; apologies and promises will not end the violence; violence is
Her physical safety is the first priority. Discuss her options
and help her make plans for her and her children's safety.
Give her the time she needs to make her own decisions.
If she is not ready to make major changes in her life, do not take
away your support.
Give her a list of key community resources that support and
work with battered women.
(Source: "Domestic Violence An AFSME Guide for Union
Action". American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,