Approaching an Abuser:
Confronting someone on their abusive or controlling behaviors may be one of the hardest things you ever do. Please remember that while an abusive person may be open to talking with you, true change can only occur if that person is willing to take accountability for their actions and be willing to take the necessary steps to seek help. Change will require a meaningful and consistent commitment to all aspects of life.
What to do:
- Stay calm.
- Keep yourself safe. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are in danger or at risk of being harmed.
- Recognize the behaviors as abusive – don’t minimize the abuser’s actions as “situational” or “circumstantial.” Their behaviors are not acceptable, and their actions are a crime.
- Explain what it is like to witness or be aware of the abuse.
- Let the abuser know they are the only one responsible for their actions.
- Support the abuser’s feelings (fear, attention, anger), not their abusive behavior (yelling, hitting, ridiculing). Continually maintain that there is no excuse for the abuse.
- Help them connect to resources to end the abusive behaviors.
Be ready to end the relationship with the abuser if they continue to engage in abusive behavior. By staying “neutral” and/or saying you “won’t take sides” between the victim and the abuser, you give them the message that their actions are acceptable. However, if the abuser is getting help, provide consistent support and encouragement.
For additional information and resources, please email or call LEVI at (303) 774-4534.