Learn as much as you can. Contact programs and services in your area that assist victims in understanding their rights and exploring options for safety, advocacy, support and other needed information and services.
Sometimes your own feelings about the abuse may make it difficult for you to confront the situation. Contact your Talian Kasih at 15999 (an initiative by the Ministry of Women), local domestic violence hotline or program and speak with an advocate about your concerns. These programs can be an excellent source of support both for you and your friend.
Lend a Sympathetic Ear
Letting your friend know you care and are willing to listen may be the best help you can offer. Don’t force this issue. Keep your mind open and really listen to what is being said. Never blame the victim for what is happening or underestimate the victims’ fear of potential danger. Never repeat what has been told to you to the abuser, unless given permission.
Remember that your friend or family member must make his or her own decisions.
Focus on supporting your friend or family member’s right to make his or her own choices. Let him or her decide for themselves and respect their choice.
Access Community Services
Let your friend or family member know they are not alone and there are caring people available. Be aware that not all helping professionals are fully aware of the complex dynamics of gender-based violence (GBV) such as rape, domestic violence and sexual harassment. If the person is not helpful, the victim should be encouraged to find assistance elsewhere.
You may refer to our list of service providers.
Acknowledge Their Strengths
People living in abusive relationships can suffer from both emotional and physical abuse. Give your friend the emotional support needed to know they are a good person. Emphasize their strengths and skills, and that everyone deserves to live a life that is free from violence.
Help Develop a Safety Plan
Encourage your friend or family member to develop a plan to protect themselves and their children. Help them think through the steps they should take if their partner becomes abusive again. Make a list of people they can call in an emergency and places they can go.
Contact our counselling service at 03-7877-0224 or Women’s Aid Organization (WAO) for guidelines on how to make a safety plan.
If Your Friend or Family Member Decides to Leave
If they decide to leave, a domestic violence shelter may be an option and a safe place to go. However, not all communities have shelters. Contact us at 03-7877-0224 to find out where the nearest shelter is located.
It cannot be overemphasised that domestic violence can result in serious physical injury or even death. If you know that a domestic violence incident is occurring, contact the police immediately.