Domestic Violence Awareness at The University of Michigan
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For Colleagues

Most people feel very conflicted when they learn that someone is either being abused in their intimate relationship or is an abuser. We may feel that relationships are private and feel reluctant to intrude. We may not understand the behavior of the survivor or the batterer. Even if we want to offer help to the survivor or to confront the abuser, we may not know what to say or how to say it. What if the survivor rejects our help? What if the abuser denies doing anything wrong?

Your intervention can make all the difference. By supporting survivors in becoming safe, even if they don't choose to act immediately, you can break their isolation and plant a seed of hope. By confronting batterers, you can challenge their sense of entitlement to control their partners and let them know that the community or the family doesn't accept that behavior.

The information in this section offers suggestions on how to offer assistance to a co-worker, friend, or relative who is experiencing domestic violence, and how to hold a batterer accountable.