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What can I do to help my mother, sister, friend?


Understand her situation

Consider how difficult it is for women to leave an abusive relationship and why every woman's decision and her confidentiality must be respected and protected.

Reassure her that she does not cause the abuse

An abuser learned to use violence as a way of expressing anger or frustration long before he met her.

Tell her that she is not alone in her predicament

Many women are subjected to conjugal violence and come from all income and education levels, all social classes, and all religious and ethnic groups.

Make safety a priority

A woman's safety is her priority. Support her in developing a safety plan for herself and her children. Trust her instinct and judgement - she knows best what safety measures will work for her and her children.

Help her to make an emergency plan in advance

There are shelters and services available for her and her children. Throughout Quebec, she can call the S.O.S. Violence Conjugale Hotline at 1-800-363-9010.

Reassure her that leaving is not desertion

In Quebec, if a woman leaves a man after he has abused her, she retains her legal rights to financial support and custody of the children.

If she is an immigrant who is sponsored by her husband...

It is important that she consult a lawyer. She does not lose her right to stay in Canada if she separates or divorces. 

Give her your moral support

She needs your reassurance that she is not to blame. Help her to find the assistance she needs to live free from abuse.

If she is not ready…

If she chooses not to make changes in her life, do not take away your friendship. Your support and advice may be what will make it possible for her to act at a later date.