Seeing someone you love experience domestic abuse can be awful and extremely worrying. Unless you are trying to help someone who has been very open about their experiences, it may be difficult for you to acknowledge the problem directly.
The best thing you can do is be there to assist and give support.
How you can help
- Listen, try to understand and take care not to blame. Tell them they are not alone and others in the same situation.
- Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Don’t push them to give you detail and give them time to talk.
- Encourage them to express their feelings, whatever they are and allow them to make their own decisions.
- Offer to go to the hospital or GP with them if they have suffered physical harm.
- Help report to the police if they choose to do so.
- Provide information on organisations that can help them and offer your phone/computer so they can look on the relevant websites without risk of being caught.
- Help them make a safety plan if they choose to leave and keep things safe for them like an emergency bag.
- Make sure you look after yourself whilst you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time. Do not offer to talk to the abuser or let yourself be seen by the abuser as a threat to their relationship. Be there for your friend/family and offer as much support as you can.