If you’re worried a friend is being abused, let them know you’ve noticed something is wrong.
They might not be ready to talk, but try to find quiet times when they can talk if they choose to.
If someone confides in you that they’re suffering domestic abuse:
- listen, and take care not to blame them
- acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
- give them time to talk, but do not push them to talk if they do not want to
- acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation
- tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
- support them as a friend, encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
- do not tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that’s their decision
- ask if they have suffered physical harm and if they have encourage them to seek medical attention.
- help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
- be ready to provide information about organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse – WKS – 0800 028 3398 or WKS@localsolutions.org.uk
- If they are not able to speak freely identify a code word with them so they can alert you if they are in danger and need help