1. Read the Basics section
Interpersonal violence is complicated. Many of us don’t really understand it or what to do about it. Read the Basics about violence section for a clearer picture of what is going on. The Basics about violence intervention section shares lessons Creative Interventions have learned from responding to violence.
Share this information with others who may be in a situation of violence and need resources to help them work out what to do.
2. Asking for support is hard
You may fear judgment from others, or more violence from the person doing harm if they find out. You may blame yourself and feel shame—unfortunately this is a normal reaction to violence. You may have asked for help and been knocked back or ignored. All of this makes it difficult to talk about violence and to ask for support. We hope that this toolkit will help you to ask for and get the patient, non-judgmental support you need and deserve.
3. Think of support as a partnership
Good support is a partnership where you are standing side-by-side. Sometimes you might want to step back and let the group lead, and sometimes you might want to have more control.
4. You know more about what happened to you than anyone else does
You are the only person who knows the extent and effect of the violence. People hearing you name the violence can be an important step in taking action to repair the harm and stop future violence (but it is not your responsibility). It may be a goal of your intervention. You don’t have to do it by yourself—you can record it in some way or tell someone you trust and ask them to be responsible for telling other people you want to know (see What is going on).
5. Community-based interventions works best when you are involved
There are different ways that you can participate:
- Leading the intervention
- Actively involved
- Checking in regularly to get information and give feedback
- Getting information infrequently about what has been done and how it’s going
- Only hearing the final outcome.
How will you be involved? How do you want to be involved? What if you feel pushed out? What if you feel over-burdened? What if you don’t even want an intervention to happen? These are important discussions, and it can help to have someone whose role is to make sure you are heard.
6. Have a go-to person in the intervention
There should be someone in the intervention whose role is to support and check in with you throughout the intervention.
7. People might disagree with you
People might not agree with all of your values, opinions or goals. This website has tools to discuss and reach consensus on the values guiding the intervention and its goals. It has information and tools for when people disagree (See Values to guide your intervention and What do you want).
8. People might need their own support to support you
There are many reasons why supporting someone who has been hurt can be hard, including people’s feelings about what has happened, their experiences of violence, and the pressure to be perfect. People may need to step back occasionally, and they may need someone who they can share everything with. This is not a reflection on you.
9. People may be supporting the person who hurt you to change, and that might affect your relationship with them
You might decide to step back from people who are supporting the person who hurt you, or they may step back from you. This isn’t a reflection on how much they care about you.