Community Intervention with an Abuser

Community Intervention with an Abuser

Adapted from the Family Violence Prevention Fund (now Futures Without Violence)

*If you know the victim, please talk with her before taking any of the following actions with an abuser in order to reduce the potential for retaliation. Discuss your plans so s/he can maximize safety; suggest that s/he call a hotline to conduct a safety plan.

  • The simple act of someone saying something and naming this behavior “abuse” is enough to get people thinking about how they treat the people around them.
  • Trust your instincts. If you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you think crosses the line, chances are it is a warning sign and should not be ignored.
  • Be involved but be respectful. Don’t get yourself in a dangerous situation and don’t try to “fix” other people’s relationships.
  • When talking with an abuser, let him know that you think the use of any violence in a relationship, including threats, is unacceptable and that there’s never a reason for it. Nothing his partner does makes it okay for him to hurt her or him.
  • Tell him that domestic violence, including stalking, is a crime and that his abuse can land him in jail.
  • Let him know that there is help in the community to end his abusive behavior. Contact one of the local domestic violence programs to find an approved, certified, batterer’s treatment program in the area.
  • Discuss your university’s policies on abuse, physical and sexual violence and harassment.
  • Display anti-violence posters and educational materials in your office and dorm.

Return to Working with Perpetrators

A Note on Terminology

Domestic violence/relationship abuse refers to intimate relationships, not child abuse. Because the vast majority of relationship abuse is committed by men against women in heterosexual relationships, this website sometimes contains the female gender pronoun when referring to the abused person. Domestic violence/relationship happens at the same rate in LGBTQQ relationships and all of the information on this site is relevant for male victims and for individuals in same-gender relationships. In addition, please see our resources on same-gender relationships. Our goal is to encourage helping professionals to be gender inclusive. This includes using gender-neutral language when working with individuals, while continuing to analyze gender as a construct that has implications on gender-based violence in both heterosexual and same-gender relationships.