Help for Family and Friends
How you can help a friend or family member who is experiencing domestic abuse?
- Give the time and space to talk.
- Reassure them that you believe what they are saying.
- Take care not to blame them.
- Reassure them they are not alone and there are many others in the same situation.
- Try not to push them to go into more detail than they feel ready to talk about.
- This is a frightening and difficult situation.
- No-one deserves to be threatened or abused - despite what their abuser might have told them.
- Nothing they can say can justify the abuser’s behaviour.
- Support them as a friend.
- Encourage them to express their feelings.
- Try not to be judgemental.
DON’T tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready to do this.
Remember it must be their decision.
Support them to seek help
- Have they suffered physical harm? If so, ask if they wish to attend hospital, or visit their GP and offer to accompany them.
- Help them to report the assault to the police if they choose to do so.
- Encourage them to have their injuries logged in case they need evidence in the future.
- Seek advice on their options.
- Offer to go with them to visit a solicitor.
- Be ready to provide information on organisations that can help.
- Help them to plan safe strategies in case they decide to leave. Let them decide what they think is safe. Remember they know the abuser best.
- Offer the use of your address and/or telephone number for them to receive messages or information.
- Offer to look after an emergency bag as your friend/family member may urgently need to leave an abusive environment.
- ID - Passport, birth/marriage certificate, NI number, driving licence, insurance documents etc
- Money - cheque book, bank cards, credit cards, benefit books etc.
- Medical - prescribed medicines, prescriptions, medical cards, vaccination certificates
- Legal - injunction/divorce papers, mortgage documents
- Special Items - childs favourite toy, photos, jewellery etc.
- Basic/essential clothing
Taking care of you
- Ensure that you do not put yourself in a dangerous situation.
- Do not offer to talk to the abuser about your friend.
- Don’t allow yourself to be seen as a threat by the abuser.