If someone you know or love is being abused, it is critical that you take action to help protect the rights, safety and dignity of that person.
Here is what you can do:
- If you believe someone is experiencing abuse and is in imminent danger, call the police immediately by dialing 911.
- If there is no imminent danger call the dispatch line for your local police service. The police may also be able to provide information on other community resources.
- If the abuse is happening within a public care facility – such as a lodge, hospital, long-term care facility - you are required by law to report it to Protections for Persons in Care at 1-888-357-9339.
- Talk to the person you are concerned about. Be open and compassionate about your concerns. Take time and care to ensure that the person knows that the abuse is not their fault and that help is available.
- Find out about help in your community (see side menu). Encourage and/or assist the person to contact community agencies.
- Keep checking on what that person wants. Continue to inquire as to what support is needed from you.
- Unless the person who is being abused is unable to care for themselves or make good personal decisions because of a disability, he or she has the right to choose where and how to live.
If the person chooses not to leave the abusive situation:
- do not be judgmental
- understand that leaving an abusive situation is not easy for anyone
- remind your loved one that you are there for support if and when it is needed
You can also call the provincial Family Violence Information Line toll free (310 – 1818) for resource information in your area.