I know someone who needs help

Domestic abuse is much more common than people realise, so its highly likely that you know someone who is living with abuse at home.

Talking about abuse can be difficult for you and the person subjected to it.

There are some basic actions you can take to offer support and assistance to a friend, family member, colleague or anyone who might reveal to you that they are living with domestic abuse

How to help

Understand and believe

Victims fear that they won’t be believed if they share the abuse they are being subjected to. You are in a trusted position if someone discloses domestic abuse. How you react to that disclosure is really important in supporting the victim. It’s important to let them know that you believe them, that the abuse is not their fault and they are not alone.

Be ready to listen without judgement

Acknowledge the strength it takes to talk about abuse and understand that they may need time to talk, rather than pushing them to give lots of details.

Appreciate their fear and the situation

Remember how frightened they are likely to be feeling and acknowledge how difficult their situation is.

Provide emotional support

Support them to express their feelings and if they have suffered physical harm ask if they need support to access their GP or the hospital.

Don't tell them to leave

Don’t tell them to leave. They may not be ready to do this, and it is their decision to make when and if they are ready to.

Don't tell them what to do

Don’t tell them what to do. Offer your help and support but remember they need to make their own decisions about the relationship.

Offer your contact details

Offer the use of your address/phone number to leave messages if they want to access domestic abuse support or other services and need a safe contact.

Offer to seek help

Offer to support them to contact us at the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline or The Elm Foundation.

Tread carefully

Take care of yourself if you are supporting someone living with abuse. It is a difficult and emotional time so it is important to consider your own mental health and safety too. Make sure you do not put yourself in dangerous situations such as offering to speak to the abuser about your friend.

Seek advice & support

Contact us at the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline for advice and support.

If you or your friend is in immediate danger always contact emergency services on 999.

Be There For Someone

Supporting victims

Be a safe space

A victim needs to feel safe before they can open up about abuse. Let them know that you are a safe person to talk to. Only ask them about abuse in private and when you’re alone.

Give time to listen and not judge

Be patient. It can take time for a victim to recognise that they are in an abusive relationship, and several attempts to confide in anyone about it. Be ready to listen and not judge.

Believe them

Victims are often dismissed, and their claims disbelieved. Trust what they tell you and reassure them that you believe them if they talk about abuse to you. Tell them that the abuse is not their fault and that everyone has the right to live without fear or harm.

Encourage them to contact us

Reassure them that help is available through the phone, text and online. Offer them choices about the services we offer locally and, if needed, the national services that are available too.

If you know someone who needs help, contact us for support and advice.