Help for someone else
How to help someone who may be experiencing domestic abuse.
Think of safety first and don’t put yourself or the person you are concerned about, at risk.
Start conversations gently, showing your concern. ”I’m worried about you?”
You may feel like you don’t know enough about domestic abuse to respond well. But simply listening can help someone to break the silence around their situation. “Thank you for telling me.”
If someone tells you they are being abused, it is important to show that you believe the person. And to let them know what’s happening to them is wrong. “I believe you”. ”It’s not your fault.”
Offer help, advice and suggestions, not demands. Allow them to make their own decisions in their own time.
What you can do:
- Create a safe space
- Listen to them and don’t blame them
- Tell them they are not alone and it isn’t their fault
- Acknowledge that they are afraid and in a difficult situation
- Be supportive and let them make the decision if they want to leave the relationship
- Be patient and give them time
- Ask if they are hurt and support them to the GP/Hospital and to the police if they decide to make a report
- Tell them about organisations available that can offer support, advise of NIDAS and the support we offer to domestic abuse victims.
- Still continue to support them if they decide to leave the relationship.
- Ensure you are looking after yourself too and not putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
What NOT to do:
- Don’t blame them for the abuse
- Don’t work out reasons for the abuse
- Don’t be critical
- Don’t tell them what to do. Give information as the decision needs to be their own
- Don’t pressure them to leave