I'm worried about my friend . . .
If you are unsure whether your friend is in an unhealthy relationship, you could look out for these signs. Remember: finding some might not necessarily mean that they are experiencing domestic abuse:
Depression and anxiety
Cancelling plans last minute
Argumentative or upset
Fearful or withdrawn
Use of drugs or alcohol
Early sexual activity/risk taking
Receiving constant texts and calls
Afraid of making partner angry
Makes excuses for partner's behaviour
Get talking . . .
"I'm sorry to hear that"
Show your friend that you believe and care about them. You may be shocked, especially if you know the abuser. But remember, anyone can be the victim of abuse, no matter how they might seem.
"It's not your fault"
Be very clear: tell your friend that what is happening id wrong and he/she is not to blame. Nothing your friend has done or said makes it okay to be abused. If the abuser drinks, takes drugs, has stress, depression or anger problems, or has had a bad childhood; this does not justify their behaviour.
Abuse is the responsibility of the abuser.
"Thank you for telling me"
Let your friend know that they have made a brave & good decision to talk to you.
Don't push for details unless your friend wants to tell you.
Be trustworthy - reassure your friend that you won't share information on the abuse without their permission - unless it's an emergency.
"How can I help you"
Ask your friend what they need. let them know that they can contact the organisations on our Useful Links page.
Do not pressure them to leave the relationship
Try to be understanding if they aren't ready and let them know that you will be there, whatever they decide.
Be Safe, Be Kind, Be there. . .
This information is up to date as of 28th March 2019 and will not be updated soon