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Looking for help for someone else?

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Are You Supporting Someone You Know?

Welcome supporters. It’s awesome that you want to help someone make positive changes in their life. Having trusted people around to support them through their change journey is crucial to the success of someone living violence free.

So what does a change journey look like?

Thinking About Change they might have noticed or been told there are concerns with their behaviour.
Taking Steps for Change – they’re actively doing things to make changes to their behaviour.
Staying on Track – they’ve made changes to their behaviour and now they’re practising to keep those changes going.

There isn’t one right way to support someone on a change journey, so here are some tips for how to support someone while taking care of yourself.

  • Knowing that someone needs support to change their behaviour can be difficult. But if your gut feeling is that something isn’t right, you should listen to it. 

    We might be worried that if we speak up it may affect our relationship with the person or that we’ve misinterpreted a ‘normal’ argument.

  • Anyone can be a supporter. It could be someone’s mate, family/whānau member, neighbour, a bystander in public, or even someone who has used violence themselves in the past and has been on a change journey.

    Sometimes people being harmed want to find support for their loved one to change. Here are some tips to see if you’re the right person, or if it’s best to ask someone else to step in:

  • Providing support can look like:

      • Offering a listening ear
      • Take time to sit and ask them if they want help or if they’re ok
      • Being genuine to build rapport
      • Being non-judgmental
      • Talking about something they enjoy
      • Keeping calm and focused
      • Thinking about what to say, how to say it, where and when to say it
      • Tell them you’re feeling worried about them and their family/whānau
      • Not being threatening or accusing
      • Offering support rather than advice
      • Notice and acknowledge when you see shifts in their behaviour or they say things about change

    What if people think they don’t need support?

      • It’s better to make a mistake than regret not getting involved
      • Be brave and have the conversation, they could be waiting for someone to reach out
      • Don’t give up, keep offering support
      • Be kind and non-judgemental
      • Think about who else they might listen to
      • If you’re concerned, call police – they may already have information or concerns too

    Supporters need to keep themselves safe:

      • If in doubt, call police
      • Have your own support person or someone else to assist you
      • If you’re not sure how they’ll react, have the conversation in public
      • Is there someone else they trust and will listen to?
      • Be clear and have agreements on your role in safety/change plans 

    As a supporter be mindful of:

      • Your own triggers
      • Ensuring you have the skills to support them
      • Talking to professionals for advice first if you can

Immediate Support

If you or someone else are in danger, call

Or reach out to the Family Violence Information Line

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