Call for Help
If you hear a disturbance, and you suspect it may be domestic violence, have the courage to call the police.
Be available to a friend, relative or neighbor when he or she needs you to listen or needs someone with whom to confide. Be patient and supportive of his or her decisions, even if you do not agree with them. The victim knows the situation best.
Believe the Story
Domestic violence is often shocking, but a victim needs someone to believe what he or she is telling them.
Be prepared to offer choices a victim can use now or later, whichever is the best time for him or her. Know where else he or she can turn for help. A good option is to share your local crisis line number or Children & Families of Iowa's Toll Free Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-942-0333).
Offer validating and supportive phrases such as "You're a good mother," and "You are able to juggle so many things in your family."
Victims have shared that even little things like watching the children for a couple of hours, or bringing over a casserole or dessert for the family can make them feel supported.
Be a Mentor
Even if it's just listening to everyday stories of school or playing games, such connections are important to children who often need a healthy role model or mentor.
Know the dynamics of domestic violence and how larger social forces, such as sexism, homophobia and gender inequalities lead to domestic violence. Understand that gender-based violence can happen in any relationship.
Help raise funds and awareness. Volunteer your time at shelters, donate to domestic violence programs in your area, attend rallies and encourage others to do so.
If you think a friend, family member or other loved one is abusing his or her partner, don't look the other way. If you don't feel comfortable intervening yourself, consult a counselor or domestic violence professional. Whatever you do, DON'T REMAIN SILENT!
Demonstrate non-violence and encourage others to do so, especially young boys. Avoid sexist magazines, music, movies and other media. Don't tolerate violent behavior of any kind in others and encourage equality whenever possible.
Portions of this list are based on "Ten Things Men Can do to Prevent Gender Violence," by Jackson Katz