Additional resources can be found on the Bystander Action page.
A person experiencing domestic violence may:
- Display bruising or injuries
- Attempt to hide injuries (for example, pull down sleeves to cover bruising)
- Appear fearful or have lots of anxiety around partner
- Reduce eye contact when with their partner
- Be isolated, be unable or feel unsafe to reach out to family and friends
- Show no signs at all
A person who could be hurting or abusing their partner may:
- Criticize, demean, or humiliate when their partner tries to speak
- Control any financial transactions or force their partner to pay for purchases
- Respond with excessive anger or jealousy
- Insult their partner and expect you to join in
- Act harsh, controlling, and hostile
- Monitor phone calls and online activities
Suggestions for helping:
- If you see or hear a domestic violence incident call 911.
- Provide information about local domestic violence agencies and the 24/7 confidential Rhode Island statewide Helpline (1-800-494-8100, also available through an online chat via www.ricadv.org). Encourage them to talk to people and connect with organizations that can help. Offer to call an agency or the Helpline with them.
- Call and check in with your family and friends especially those who are more isolated.
- Assess your safety and the victim's safety. Find ways to help that will keep both you and the victim safe. Never confront the abuser or talk about abuse with the victim in front of the abuser.
- Share resources about domestic violence on your social media accounts.
- Approach the victim without judgment, and express your concerns.
- Listen, believe, and provide options and information.
- Ask questions like, “What can I do to help?”
- Support the victim. Allow them to make their own decisions, even if it means not being ready to leave the relationship.
- If the victim discloses abuse, listen without judging.
- Offer the victim a safe place to stay, or help them find one.
- Encourage the victim to call 911 if they are in danger.
- Remain patient. Leaving an abusive relationship is a process. Respect the victim’s decisions. Do not cut off support, and do not give up!
- Display helpful information in your business or work. See out suggestions for businesses below.
Suggestions for businesses:
- Print a line about domestic violence resources available on all receipts, like:
“If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the confidential statewide Helpline at 1-800-494-8100 or visit nomoreri.org.”
- Train employees to respond to any violence or harassment occurring in the stores or parking lots by calling 911.
- Display posters and information about domestic violence in bathrooms and dressing rooms.
- Create a confidential space for victims to access services.