Being a supportive friend or colleague

Two men sitting on a bench talking

When you are supporting a friend or colleague experiencing family violence, remember to:

  • Identify risks. If there is imminent danger or if someone has a weapon, call the police on 111. If you see any suspicious behaviour, no matter how minor it appears, call University Security (0800 373 7550).
  • Keep confidentiality and be non-judgemental.
  • Support, listen and recognise the courage needed to speak out about family violence.
  • Recognise boundaries. Most of us aren't counsellors and unless we are a designated contact person, we aren't able to provide access to University support.

Recognise when someone you know is dealing with a difficult situation or is behaving unusually. 

  • Respond by letting them know you are concerned about them.
  • Encourage them to talk to the University contact people who are available to assist and support them.
  • Offer to go with them to get support.
  • Help them get information on protection orders, emergency accommodation, financial help, or support groups.
  • Allow them to make their own choices and decisions in their own time. It is important that someone who is being abused is able to take control of decisions that affect them. Also be aware that leaving an abusive relationship can be a very dangerous time – the violence can escalate. Try to support them until they are strong and safe enough to make difficult decisions.

Who to talk to if you’re a student
Who to talk to if you’re a staff member
Expert organisations

It Isn't Always Obvious: Shine campaign videos

Family violence is not always obvious. Watch these short videos from Shine and learn to recognise the signs. Know that there is help available.

Videos from Shine: It Isn't Always Obvious

Ever feel like a friend is avoiding you? 

A common tactic in abuse is to isolate someone from their friends. If your friend is always cancelling plans to meet, something more might be going on - watch video.

He uses your phone?
Checking someone else’s private mail and messages to keep tabs on them is a sign of controlling and abusive behaviour. If you think your loved one is in an unsafe relationship, call Shine 0508 744 633 to discuss the safest way to help without putting them in further danger.

You got a second job to pay for his car?
Financial abuse is domestic violence. Coercing someone to sign for a loan is a form of financial abuse that means a victim can pay the price – long after they have left their partner.

This video is sponsored by Westpac.

Not allowed to go out?
If the places a person can go are being tightly controlled by someone else, it can be a sign of abuse.  Being at work may be the only chance someone is free to reach out for help to escape family violence. 

Are you sure you're okay?
It’s very common for victims of domestic violence to lose or have to quit their jobs. Their partner might prevent them from leaving for work or call them repeatedly during work hours. For some people, work may be the only place they feel physically safe. Let’s look out for one another and end domestic violence, together.