I know someone being abused

Support someone who is being abused

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse – any age, any background, any situation. It isn’t just about violence – domestic abuse is about power and control, so it can be emotional and sexual abuse and controlling who they see, how they behave, access to money or when they can leave the home.

If you are worried that a friend, neighbour or loved one is a victim of domestic abuse then taking the time to learn about abuse and how to support someone are two important steps in helping your loved one reach safety and freedom. You can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, always call 999. Never put yourself in danger.

Women’s Aid has helpful information on how to support someone – male or female – who is experiencing domestic abuse.

Let the person 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. Don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to.

If someone confides in you that they’re suffering domestic abuse:

  • listen carefully and give them time and space to talk without interrupting
  • tell them you believe them and that they are doing the right thing by talking about it  
  • acknowledge they are in a frightening and difficult situation but there is help available
  • take care not to judge or blame them or tell them what they should do
  • support them as a friend – encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
  • tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten or controlled despite what the abuser has said
  • encourage them to get specialist help from Safe in Salford or the national helpline. There are lots of organisations which can support them
  • don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that’s their decision
  • ask if they have suffered physical harm – if so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP
  • help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
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