Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support: The Video (aka “Don’t Do Nothing”)

User’s Guide


Photo montage of a variety of people, with the text: Domestic Violence, Finding Safety & Support: The Video, User's Guide, #dontdonothingDomestic Violence Finding Safety and Support: The Video (aka “Don’t Do Nothing”) was conceived by the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) as a means of conducting public awareness and outreach, to ensure that New Yorkers are aware of the options available to them and know how to access services. It is our hope that by directing the message to family, friends and co-workers, we will encourage them to reach out to a loved one who might be a victim of domestic violence.

Use this guide to start the discussion in your community, workplace or school. The message conveyed by the video is simple: “Don’t Do Nothing.” If you think someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, let them know that you are there for them, and that, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, education or background, helpful resources are available.

Did you know?

Statistics from the "NO MORE Study: Teens and Young Adults," NO MORE Study: Teens and Young Adults,” funded by m.powerment by mark., managed by the Avon Foundation for Women. 9/23/13.

We Want Your Feedback!

After you’ve viewed and shared the video, please let us know what you think. Did it spark a discussion about domestic violence? Did you find it useful? How did your audience respond? Are there any other products or resources that you would like OPDV to consider developing?
Let us know by e-mailing Thank you!

Domestic Violence Finding Safety & Support: The Video (aka “Don’t Do Nothing”)

The “Don’t Do Nothing” video was designed to raise awareness of domestic violence and to provide ideas and suggestions for safe, appropriate responses by family, friends and co-workers. The video is presented in three short segments: Identifying Abuse, Planning for Safety and Getting Involved, each of which is comprised of dramatization and portrayed testimonials. While the Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support companion booklet, also published and distributed by the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, provides resources and information for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, the video is primarily aimed at anyone seeking guidance in approaching a friend or loved one who may be abused in an intimate relationship. Both the booklet and the video were developed to let all New Yorkers know that help is available.

Who can use the video?

The video is appropriate for any audience.

How can I use the video?

The video segments can be viewed individually or all at once.
Here are a few examples of how the video can be used:

Run times for the video segments are:
Where can I view or find the video?

It can be viewed at or on OPDV’s website.

DVDs may be ordered by sending an e-mail request to: They are free of charge. Out-of-state requests will be considered on an individual basis.

Where can I get the booklet?

Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support, the booklet, is an excellent resource to help facilitate discussion about the video. You may want to review it prior to showing the video. You may also want to have copies available for audience members.

Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support booklets may be ordered free of charge or downloaded from the OPDV Web site (pdf) HTML (Web page).

Portions of this booklet will apply to New York State only and may not be accurate in other states. If you are outside of New York State, your local or state organizations, such as government agency, the statewide domestic violence coalition, or domestic violence program, will be familiar with the laws, policies, and procedures of your community. To find a program in your area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or  TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Important Safety Note:

When showing one of the video segments or the entire video to a group and using this guide to facilitate discussion, please know there are likely to be victims/survivors – and possibly perpetrators – of domestic violence in the audience. Keep in mind that discussion of this subject matter can be difficult or “triggering” for some individuals. Always offer audience members the chance to opt out of watching or discussing the video.

Before you show the video to a group, have a plan for what to do if a victim, perpetrator, family member or friend of either discloses publicly during the viewing or discussion, or confides in you afterward. Depending on resources available, you may want to have contact information from your local domestic violence service provider and other information about available resources such as the phone number for human resources, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), school health resources, etc., on hand. You may also want to invite representatives from these resources to the viewing and discussion of the video to provide information on their services, or to be available as needed.

The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline, 1-800-942-6906, is a resource for victims, family members, friends and others. The Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a multi-language confidential hotline. Trained counselors provide a variety of services including: crisis intervention, supportive counseling, and information and referral services.

Discussion Questions
  1. What types of abuse were identified in the videos? Think about the story about Claire’s sister and the survivor testimonials (Keisha, Tanya and Chris).
  • Emotional/psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Sexual abuse

For additional information about types of abuse, see Understanding Domestic Violence, pages 2 - 3, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

Examples from video include:

Emotional/psychological abuse, examples:

Vignette – Jill

  • Tom’s yelling at her (Claire overhead on the phone)
  • Had to ask permission from Tom to do things – he won’t let her do anything
  • Needed to check in with Tom – he monitored her activities and who she was with

Vignette – John’s Friend

  • Partner controlling everything in his life
  • Name-calling

Keisha’s Story – Testimonial

  • Put downs – she was “lucky to have him; he could do so much better”
  • Criticism – the house needed to be cleaner
  • Undermining support and resources – “my friends weren’t really my friends”
  • Constant companionship – she needed to be with him all the time
  • Apologies for hurting her (grabbing her)
  • Blaming her for his actions – “Had you just listened to me the first time, I wouldn’t have had to grab you so hard.”
  • Jealousy – accusations of flirting
  • Threatening with and display of weapon

Tanya’s Story – Testimonial

  • Controlling
  • Putting her down

Chris’s Story – Testimonial

  • Subtle controlling behaviors
  • Monitoring her whereabouts, who she was with, where she was
  • Harassment
  • Name calling – lousy parent, pathetic, a loser
  • Undermining support – kept her away from family and friends

Physical abuse, examples:

Vignette – Jill

  • Hitting her (Jill’s self-admission to Claire)
  • Hitting or grabbing resulting in bruises on her arms (Claire noticed)

Keisha’s Story – Testimonial

  • Did not start out as physical abuse
  • Pushing and grabbing
  • Escalated to punching and kicking

Tanya’s Story – Testimonial

  • Hitting her in the middle of the night while she was asleep

Chris’s Story – Testimonial

  • Stalking – following her and her daughter
  • Throwing pan – injuring her daughter

Financial abuse, examples:

Vignette – Jill

  • Had to ask permission from Tom to get/have money

Tanya’s Story – Testimonial

  • Interfered as she became more financially independent

Chris’s Story – Testimonial

  • Controlling money – providing an allowance to her to run the house, cancelling her cell phone and credit cards
  • Put her job in jeopardy – late and absent from work and making mistakes at work due to sleep deprivation

Sexual abuse, examples:

Tanya’s Story – Testimonial

  • States there was sexual abuse
  1. Are there other types of abuse you can think of that were not covered in the videos?

As the narrator in the video states, “Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors that can escalate over time. It’s not just physical abuse. It can be emotional, financial, or sexual abuse as well. Victims often say they feel as though they’re “walking on eggshells,” as they describe living with or dating an abusive partner. They feel afraid and isolated from their family and friends.”
Other types of abuse can include:

  • Isolation
  • Verbal abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Coercion and threats
  • Using children
  • Minimizing, denying and blaming
  • Strangulation (“choking”)

For specific examples, see Understanding Domestic Violence, pages 2 - 9, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

  1. What are Claire’s concerns about getting involved?
  • Worries Tom may hurt Jill
  • Worries Jill may get mad at her
  • Worries Tom may get mad at her and come after her
  • Claire doesn’t know what to say or how to help

To see what other typical concerns family members and friends may have, refer to Friends, Family, Co-Workers and Bystanders, pages 58 - 65, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

  1. Why is it hard to identify domestic violence?
  • Signs of physical abuse can be hidden by clothing.
  • Domestic violence isn’t just physical abuse. Other forms of abuse may not be as obvious (financial abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, etc.).
  • In the early stages, something like extreme jealousy can feel like love.
  • Abusers are very good at subtle, manipulating, controlling behaviors. They aren’t often abusive in public.
  • It’s hard to identify domestic violence if you can’t see the pattern of controlling behaviors. It’s not necessarily about one incident.
  • Victims hide abuse because they are ashamed, afraid, etc.
  • Victims are good at hiding their fear.
  • Both victims and abusers make excuses for public incidents.

Abuse may happen very slowly, over a period of time. Or, it can happen very quickly after some sort of change in the relationship, such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy, moving in together or breaking up

  1. Why didn’t Claire’s sister, Jill, and the other victims leave at the first sign of abuse? Why do victims feel trapped?
  • Domestic violence victims often feel like the abuse is their problem and their fault, and that they are responsible for fixing the relationship.
  • It can be very hard to recognize “the first signs of abuse.” If a victim isn’t actually hit, they might not realize they’re being abused.
  • As Keisha indicated, she didn’t realize the level of danger she was in. She did not believe this could happen to her (a “successful” woman).
  • As Tanya said, “he was a great husband.” She was shocked that his controlling behaviors were revealed when she became more independent.
  • Chris stated she was afraid of what would happen if she “did move forward, or what would happen if she didn’t.” Fear is a powerful, immobilizing force, and Chris felt stuck in her situation.
  • Victims may be in denial about what is happening. These women love(d) these men; they just want the abuse to stop. And it’s not usually bad all the time. Abusers are often very apologetic after a serious incident and promise it will never happen again.
  • Leaving is scary, and often alerts others to what has been going on.
  • Victims are often embarrassed or ashamed by what has happened to them.
  • You have to have resources to leave a situation. Since abusers often prohibit victims from working outside the home, victims may have no financial resources or social supports to assist them with the expense and the logistics of starting over. 
  • Leaving an abuser can be one of the most dangerous decisions a victim of domestic violence can make.
  • Abusers often stalk their victims post-separation.
  • Victims may be afraid that they will lose custody of their children.  

For more information, see Why Do Victims Feel Trapped? Why Don’t They Just Leave?, pages 9 - 11, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

  1. What was the impact of domestic violence on the victims?
  • Jill was distant, angry, unhappy, scared, and isolated.
  • Keisha was isolated from friends and family, afraid she wouldn’t be believed, felt there was no one she could turn to, and fearful that something bad was going to happen.
  • Tanya felt ashamed and that she had failed, was isolated from friends and family, and felt she couldn’t ask for help.
  • Chris was late and absent from work, physically exhausted, was making mistakes at work, was afraid of being fired and became afraid when violence threatened her daughter.
  1. What are some ways that we could prevent and respond to domestic violence in our community?

Don’t Do Nothing!

  • Learn about domestic violence and share your knowledge with others.
  • Speak up about it – make sure everyone knows domestic violence will not be tolerated. For example, in the video, Dave called Sal out when he made a joke about domestic violence against women.
  • Identify resources and service providers in your community.  Make that information widely available to all members of the community.
  • If you are an employer, create and implement a domestic violence and the workplace policy. Similar to the policies you may already have, like time and attendance and health and safety, this policy helps guide your response if and when domestic violence impacts your workplace.
  • Model respectful behavior and healthy relationships.
  • Men can show by example that being strong does not mean being violent.
  • Order copies of the booklet Finding Safety and Support from OPDV and bring them to your local library and other public places.
  • Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by wearing purple in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
  • Confront gender stereotypes.
  • Don’t support businesses, products, services or organizations that promote violence or abusive behavior.
  • Listen to the voices of victims/survivors and learn from their experiences.
  • Understand the power of language. Seek to eradicate the following from your conversations and don’t tolerate it in media reports about domestic violence: victim-blaming, making excuses for abusers’ behaviors, and sensationalizing domestic violence.
  • Support your local domestic violence program. Individuals and businesses can make charitable contributions. Businesses, faith organizations and civic groups can offer space for meetings. If you have a unique service to offer, see if you can fulfill a need of your local domestic violence program or victims in your community. Offer to volunteer.
  1. After watching the video, if someone told you they were a victim of domestic violence, what would you do? How is this different from how you may have responded prior to watching the video?
  • Listen, support and believe your friend. Don’t judge, or blame or pressure them.
  • Provide information about local domestic violence services, or other work or community resources.
  • Offer your support and ask how you can help with everyday responsibilities. When Claire called the Hotline, she learned to offer help with things like child care and accompanying Jill to appointments.

For other suggestions, see Friends, Family, Co-Workers and Bystanders, pages 58 - 65, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

  1. What are the resources in our community for victims of domestic violence?

Local resources may include:

  • Local domestic violence program
  • Police, probation
  • Family Court
  • Local civil legal services
  • Local Department of Social Services, includes: Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services
  • Local Victim Assistance Programs

Victims can also call the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline 1-800-942-6906.

A more extensive list of national, state and local resources can be found in Resources, pages 70 - 75, in Domestic Violence Finding Safety and Support (2014).

We hope you found the “Don’t Do Nothing” video and User’s Guide useful and that it sparked fruitful conversation that will continue over time. Just as domestic violence is a complex issue with many components, so too must be the efforts to prevent and respond to it. Your active and ongoing involvement is a critical piece of ending domestic violence and helping victims Find Safety and Support. Remember – Don’t Do Nothing!