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Help & support

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 helping them stay on track without using or resorting to violence.

  • Thinking About Change – they may have noticed or been made aware of concerns about their behaviour.
    Taking Steps for Change – they’re actively doing things to recognise and change their behaviour.
    Staying on Track – they’ve made changes to their behaviour and are practising keeping those changes going.

    While supporting someone, it’s important you don’t share anything with them that might put the person they are abusing at greater risk.

    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 too.

  • 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:

    • Genuinely concerned
    • Able to say it straight in a caring way
    • Honest and not afraid to tell them hard things
    • Calm and firm, rather than reactive
    • Looking for relationships to be safe
    • Trusted
    • Willing to challenge while being understanding
    • Doesn’t want them to change
    • Minimises their behaviour
    • Offers excuses or justifies their behaviour
    • Rescues them from consequences
    • Attempts to collude
    • The cover of the book doesn’t always reveal the true story
    • What support services are available to people using violence
    • Make sure they have their own support system in place
    • Ensure they can get their own professional support
    • Have someone to talk to someone they trust
    • Know their limitations and that they don’t have to do it all on their own
    • Decide if they’re in a good place in their own life to be able to offer support to someone else
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