WORKING WITH BATTERED WOMEN: A Handbook for Health Care Professionals


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16

What Can You Say To Her To Be of Assistance?


There is information that you can give her that all women who are being abused need to know. You may wish to pass along some or all of this information even if she indicates she is not being abused but you are still very suspicious.

  • She is not alone. In Canada one of every four women is, or has been, abused by the men they live with. It is common for each woman to think she is the only one this is happening to.

  • She is not to blame. Despite what her partner or others have said, she is not responsible for the abuse. All of us have faults and all of us have disagreements within a relationship. This doesn't mean we deserve to be abused. Her partner is the one choosing to be violent—he is responsible, not her.

  • She cannot make the abuse stop by changing her behaviour. Abusive behaviour gets more severe and more frequent over time. No matter how accommodating she is, the abusive behaviour won't stop until he decides to change.

  • There are people who want to help. There are battered women's shelters where she and her children can go if she needs a free, safe and supportive place to stay. But never promise a woman that she can get into a shelter. At last count, 4000 women and children a year are taken into Saskatchewan shelters, but 2000 a year are turned away because the shelters are full. If she can't get into or doesn't need the services of a shelter, she can sign up for a counselling/support group for abused women in her area. In these groups, abused women share their experiences and feelings with the assistance of a trained facilitator.

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