Domestic Abuse (SSP obvs)


#1

Hey.

I think someone who works in a different department might be the victim of domestic abuse. Admittedly some of this is based on a prejudice view of how Australians behave, but she has certain behaviors that I don’t think correlate with just shyness. Like yesterday I opened a door on her, not knowing she was on the other side and she flinched badly, like more than others do.

I don’t really know what to do about it. A lot of advise is to speak to her, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a proper conversation with each other and it seems like a big first conversation to have with someone. She doesn’t seem to be close to anyone at work. Help me DiS. Although I guess I know the answer.


#2

Completely confused at this point


#3

Is it “just” her behaviour or anything else you’ve seen/heard/witnessed?

There can be lots of reasons, both past and present, for behaviour.


#4

Yeah. She used to be more outgoing, then has become more reserved, which seems like the opposite to what people do the longer they work somewhere


#5

I think it would be incredibly inappropriate to strike up a first, meaningful conversation with a co-worker in which you ask them if they are a victim of domestic violence based on some very limited and spurious evidence and reasoning.
I mean maybe they are, but do you know how they would feel if that now became a topic of conversation at work from someone they barely knew? Maybe work is their only sanctuary and a welcome release.
I’ve avoided bringing up issues that I am certain about with people I consider myself friends and have worked with for many years mainly due to my last point. I’d happily listen and help, or bring up if they dropped some serious hints or confided in me, but someone I barely know? No way


#6

Do you have any more reasons to think it is DV?

Have you met the partner? Heard about him at all?

Could you just say something more vague like I couldn’t help notice that you seemed a bit different (have changed) and just wanted to check you were ok or that she did have someone that she could talk to. Or that you were there if she did need to talk to anyone?

I live and am Australian and there has been a lot of attention paid to DV but I don’t actually know if it is more prevalent than the UK, but I’m not sure where you are comparing it to.


#7

Don’t bring it up as a first conversation, but do start speaking to this person. Just normal chat, get to know them. You’ll then a) get to know more about them and the situation b) show them that you are there for them and c) be in a position to say more if your suspicions are confirmed.


#8

exactly. worst that happens is that you offer friendship and it’s rejected.


#9

Yeah I was a bit uncomfortable with that but didn’t really want to wade in when it’s in a thread about such a serious subject.


#10

Alright, I guess I’ll address the elephant in the room. Yes, I know there are millions of Australians and they’re all well rounded individuals with their own personalities and quirks. However, I think there is a stereotype of Australians as being loud and confident. I admitted in the original post that this was prejudiced, not sure why other people are pointing out something I already pointed out.

Anyway, for an update, yesterday we found ourselves in the same office briefly. Had a quick chat about veggiemite and marmite. Also shared my concerns with another member of staff who is a friend and someone I trust, so she is going to see if she can help too. Just gonna take it slow.


#11

I think people maybe read that bit as you suggesting there’s a stereotype that australians are more likely to commit domestic abuse.


#12

Oh no. Didn’t know that was a stereotype. She’s married to an American anyway.


#13

no yeah, i don’t think it is a stereotype, it just sort of read that way. no worries eh.


#14

:face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#15

i cant tell if this is a real thread or not which may sound really bad of me