If you know or are worried that a family member, friend, neighbour or work colleague is experiencing domestic abuse, it can be difficult to know what to do. It’s also upsetting to think that another person is hurting them. Don’t ignore it, make sure you talk to the person about it. But only do so when it’s safe and the abusive person isn’t present.
how you can help
It’s really important not to criticize or judge what they tell you, instead focus on the abuse and their safety. Don’t underestimate your role in helping them break the silence and make sure you keep in contact, helping them consider their options.
What you can say to them:
- Domestic abuse is about power and control. Abusive, violent and sexually abusive behavior is wide-ranging and subtle in what it tries to achieve.
- The abuser is 100% responsible for their abuse. Alcohol, culture or unemployment are not excuses. Their abuse is a problem and it’s their responsibility.
- It is not your fault. No one deserves to be abused, regardless of what you say or do.
- You have the right feel safe.
We think the most important thing you can do for a friend or family member affected by domestic abuse is to ensure they seek support from an expert agency just like The Dash Charity. Although it’s upsetting, those affected by domestic abuse can be at risk from the perpetrator and so it is vital the support offered is from trained professionals. Remember you can call our helpline too if you have questions or need advice.