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This toolkit by ACON's Say It Outloud is designed to help bystanders overcome some of the barriers to intervening and support them to intervene in a helpful way when they know or suspect that someone is in an abusive relationship.

The toolkit is divided into three sections:

  • Recognise,
  • Respond, and
  • Recover.

Recognise: Is designed to help you recognise signs of abuse and overcome hesitations that you may have to intervene.

Respond: Has some information about what you can do to appropriately and safely intervene.

Recover: Is to help you take care of and support yourself after you have intervened.

A ‘bystander’ is someone who sees or knows about abuse, violence, discrimination or bullying that is happening to someone else, and they themselves are not the victim or perpetrator.

At some point you may be a bystander. There are numerous ways that you could become a bystander. For example, you could witness an abusive act toward a stranger or someone you know, you could be told about abuse by friends and family of a victim or perpetrator, or have read a disclosure of abuse on social media or be told about it by a third party. Or you may notice some changes in your friend and suspect that something is not right.

Bystanders are sometimes in a position to stop abuse from happening, to prevent abuse from escalating or to support someone involved.

Intervening is not always an easy decision to make: there are plenty of very good reasons why you might choose not to intervene in someone else’s abusive relationship. However there might also be ways you can help that will not cause further harm to the victim, to yourself or anyone else involved.

More information and toolkit download

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