I have concerns for someone I know - what can I do?

Domestic Abuse can happen to anyone and the chances are that you may know someone impacted by abuse – a parent, sibling, friend or colleague who is experiencing abuse or has done in the past.  

If you are trying to support someone, unless the person confides in you and are open about their experiences it can be difficult to address your concerns directly.  

Knowing what to do when you are worried for someone you care about and supporting someone experiencing abuse is difficult – try and make sure that you look after yourself during this time and do not put yourself at risk. It is important that you do not speak to the abuser – this can put yourself and the other person at risk.  

That said, there are some basic things that you can do such as; 

  • Listen 
  • Let them know that you believe them and acknowledge that it is a big step to tell some-one what is going on 
  • Take it seriously, recognise that they may be very frightened and at risk of harm 
  • Let them know that it is not their fault – it is not unusual for abusers to blame the victim/survivor
  • Don’t tell them what to do – encourage them to explore their options when they are ready, in their own time. Leaving an abusive relationship can be a dangerous time 
  • Know your local services – have telephone numbers ready or offer to go to appointments with them. This could be seeing a solicitor or reporting the abuse to the police if they want too.  
  • Consider anyone else that might be at risk, are there any children or other dependents in the home? Please refer to our [other services] for who to speak to if you are worried about their safety. 
  • Encourage them to access health services if they need too – they may be feeling low or have suffered physical harm 
  • Offer a safe place for her to store important belongings, correspondence or an emergency bag