Time out

This video discusses the importance of time-out as a strategy for preventing abusive behaviors in unsafe situations. It outlines key actions to take during a time-out, such as informing family and friends beforehand, leaving before the situation escalates, engaging in physical activities to defuse energy, and returning to discuss the issue calmly. The video also emphasises what to avoid during a time-out, like substance use, name-calling, or driving, and highlights the importance of having a clear plan to follow under pressure. This approach aims to ensure safety and promote thoughtful decision-making in relationships.

A woman speaks:

Have you ever worried that you might go too far and hurt somebody? I want to introduce you to some key ideas about how to safely remove yourself from an unsafe situation, reduce the risk of using abusive practices, and keep other people in our family safe. Time-out is about removing yourself from an unsafe situation, so that the threat of using abusive practices is minimized at that moment. It's also about taking time to do some serious thinking, where you can try and understand what's going on. 

Here are other things that are useful when it comes to using time-out. The first action to take is to talk about time-out with your family and friends before you need to take it... and let them know what you're trying to achieve by using it. Don't just walk out because at some point you'll have to walk back in. So the set-up is really important. The second action to take is to leave before things get unsafe and before you make an abusive choice. If it's safe to do so, tell others what's happening as it happens. For example... I'm feeling pissed off and need to take a time-out. I'll be back in 10 minutes once I've calmed down. 

The third action to take is to do something physical like going for a walk, run, or bike ride. This will give you some distance, distract you from the situation and give you time to think. It'll also defuse some of the energy that might be flooding around your body. The fourth action to take when you feel safe, is to return and talk about what was happening for you. 

There are a number of don'ts when it comes to taking a time-out. Resist the urge to do drugs, drink, call your partner names, drive, or do anything to harm yourself or others, as all these things make it harder to make safe choices. These things will often make a bad situation worse. When we have a clear plan for what we're going to do, then when we're under pressure... we're more likely to follow through.