I'm Worried About Someone Else 

We understand that supporting a loved one through abuse is hard. We are here for you. 

Our Helpline regularly receives calls form friends and family who are supporting a loved one who is experiencing abuse. Sometimes it can be hard knowing where to start. Below are some points to help guide you. 

Listen

  • Try to understand and take care not to blame your friend for what they are experiencing

  • Tell them that they are not alone and that many people in the same situation as they are 

 

Acknowledge

  • Recognise the strength it takes to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse

  • They have taken a huge step by reaching out to you 

  • Give them space and time to talk

  • Try not to push for more details if they don't want to talk about it 

Recognise

  • Be understanding that they are in a potentially very frightening and very difficult situation

Challenge behaviour 

  • No one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the person being abusive has told them 

  • They are not responsible for the other person's actions 

  • Nothing they do or say can justify abusive behaviour

Support

  • Be there as their friend

  • Encourage them to shared their feelings, whatever they are, the good the bad and the ugly 

  • Allow your friend to make their own decisions, this is their life, their choices 

  • Let them create their own boundaries of what they thinks is safe and what is not safe

  • Don’t push for them to follow any plans or ideas that they don't feel comfortable with

Avoid using 'must', 'have to' 'need to' 

  • Telling your friend that they 'must' leave the relationship if they are not ready to is not helpful to them 

  • They have to make this choice themselves 

  • You can support them, challenge the abusers behaviour and walk with them through the journey, but ultimately this is their choice 

  • It is hard supporting someone through abuse as you want to protect them 

  • It is important that if they are ready to leave they plan how to leave safely 

Ask 

  • If you notice a change in behaviour, ask them about this, ask if something has happened recently that they want to talk about 

  • If they have been physically hurt, offer to go with them to hospital or to the GP to get checked over 

Support

  • If they want to make a report to the police, support them in doing this. That might mean making the initial call with them or being sat next to them as they make the report 

  • If they making steps to go down the legal route, you could go with them to visit a solicitor or help give them some numbers to call for advice on their options 

Plan 

  • Create a safety plan with your friend if they need to leave - see our page here for some ideas 

  • Offer the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages if it is not safe for them to receive these 

  • Offer to look after an emergency bag for them if they want to do this, you can keep this safely at your house in case they need to leave quickly 

  • You can gather information on organisations that can help support them on this journey

  • Get details of their local Domestic Abuse service who can support them 

You ​​​

  • You are important, you can't support your friend well if you aren't first looking after yourself 

  • It can take a huge toll on your emotional and mental capacity supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time 

  • Keep yourself safe, don't offer to speak to the abuser or put yourself in an unsafe situation on their behalf 

  • Seek support through our Helpline service if you want to speak about what is happening, our service is confidential 

Address:

15a Monument Way East,

Woking, Surrey  

GU21 5LY

Telephone: 01483 776868

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Registered Charity No. 1137057

©2019 by Your Sanctuary