The coalition encourages bystanders to take action to prevent violence.
“It is frightening to witness violence like this,” Randall said. “People don’t want to be nosy or think it’s none of their business. But there could be a good opportunity to do something and have an impact on a situation.”
She said the two women who helped in this instance may have put themselves in danger and she doesn’t recommend that to everyone.
“What they did was great, but they could have been hurt,” Randall said. “They did the right thing by calling 911. There are other ways to intervene that might not be so dangerous.”
The coalition created an action plan for those who observe domestic violence.
“We put this together this summer after Emily Waddell (Giles) was murdered,” Randall said. “She had never interfaced with the system. There were no protective orders.”
She said the only people who knew about Giles’ abuse were her friends and family.
“Many people knew there was violence in the home,” she said. “We want all people to have the tools needed to intervene in these situations.”
Randall said there are some warning signs to watch for. Someone who may be an abuser might act excessively jealous of their partner, insult or embarrass their partner in public, or yell at or try to intimidate their partner.
Someone who is a victim may act submissive; have physical injuries or wear unusual clothing as if to hide an injury (such as sunglasses indoors or long sleeves in the summer); seem overly anxious to please their partner; seem afraid of their partner; talk about the partner’s temper, possessiveness, or jealousy; be restricted from seeing family and friends; have limited access to money or a car; seem depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
“Ask the victim about the situation in a safe place where the abuser cannot overhear,” Randall said. “It’s also very important you tell the person, typically a woman, that the violence is no fault of her own. We also encourage people to support the person, not to give advice. You don’t want to take power away from her. You want to encourage her to make her own decisions.”