Suspecting or knowing that someone you know is subjected to violence is often frustrating. You want to help but what can you do?
Listen to the women and do not question her. Victims often feel guilt and shame; these feelings are reinforced if you question her conduct or have an “I told you so” attitude.
Make it clear that you will not abandon her even if she chooses to continue her relationship with the person who is harming her. Let her know that you will be there for her if she needs help.
Break the isolation. Don’t give up on her: get in touch with her even if she withdraws (e.g. can never come when you invite her over or suggest activities, or is dismissive when you get in touch).
Call Kvinnofridslinjen for support and information
You are welcome to call Kvinnofridslinjen also as a family member or friend. At the other end of the line are people experienced in supporting women subjected to violence and those close to them. The line is open around the clock and your call is free of charge. Your call will not appear on the telephone bill.
You can phone Kvinnofridslinjen if you have questions about how you can support someone who is close to you, if you want to speak to someone about your experiences. We are social workers and nurses used to dealing with people in crisis or in difficult life situations. We are bound by professional secrecy and you can remain anonymous.
Our job is to listen and provide you with professional support. You can also get information about where to turn within the healthcare system, how to report a crime to the police, or what support is available in your local area.
The staff is Swedish-speaking but can use an interpreter when necessary. Please hold the line while the interpreter is being connected. It may take up to 15 minutes. Kvinnofridslinjen can be accessed only within Sweden.
Kvinnofridslinjen is run by the National Centre for Knowledge on Men’s Violence Against Women (NCK), on behalf of the Swedish Government.