Is the person at risk of harm?

  • Recognize that denial is normal. It is a useful strategy for survivors. It is difficult to meet the normal demands of life if you are constantly thinking that someone you live with is going to harm or kill you. Often, using denial permits one to do what needs to be done in life. At the same time, denial may prevent the survivor from recognizing their immediate risk.
  • Express concern for their safety. Without arguing, you can voice your concerns for the person's safety and your understanding of the situation. For example, you could state: "I need to tell you that I am worried about your safety. You told me that____. This make me concerned that___."
  • See unit 6 for basic safety planning information.
  • See unit 5 on danger assessment.
  • Ask how the person has kept herself or himself safe until now. If he or she has ways to protect self and children, affirm those and then strategize for other options if that seems necessary. If the person tells you that something you are recommending will escalate her or his risk, trust their knowledge of their situation.

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