How to help others
There is a likelihood that you will know somebody who is experiencing domestic abuse. There are lots of ways you can help, including:
- Listen, try to understand and do not to blame them. Tell them that they are not alone and that there are many others in similar situations.
- Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give them time to talk, but don’t push them to go into too much detail if they don’t want to.
- Acknowledge that they are in a frightening and very difficult situation.
- Tell them that no one deserves to be threatened or abused, despite what their abuser has told them. Nothing they can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour.
- Allow them to make their own decisions, they have been controlled enough.
- Don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready. This has to be their decision.
- If they have injuries, encourage them to seek medical advice.
- Encourage them to report the abuse to the police.
- Offer support if they want to access domestic abuse services.
- Encourage them to seek legal advice on matters to ensure they are fully informed of their options.
- Discuss a safety plan.
- Remember to look after yourself during this time as it can have an emotional impact on you and ensure that you do not put yourself into any dangerous situations.