What You Can Do
To give support:
- Give the person time to open up. You may have to try a few times before they will talk to you.
- Be direct. You could say: “I am worried about you because…” or “I am worried about your safety”.
- Do not judge. Believe what they say.
- Tell them the abuse is not their fault and that you are there for them.
- Concentrate on giving support and building their confidence.
- Help your friend to keep contact with people outside the home.
- Be patient. It can take time for someone to understand that they are being abused. It can take even longer for them to decide what to do.
- Tell them they are not weak. Domestic abuse is all about one person using power over another.
- Encourage them to keep a diary of anything that happens and to tell other people about it.
- Encourage them to report anything that happens to a GP or the police.
If you are worried about a friend or family member that may be at risk of harm from their partner, you can find out if they have a Police record of previous violence, or if the police hold other information that may indicate that they are a risk. You can do this by applying as a third party under the Domestic Violence Disclosure scheme (also called Clare's Law).
Please see the leaflet below about how to make an enquiry.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 999
National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
If you are worried about a child in Cambridgeshire call 0345 045 5203
Try not to do these things:
- Do not tell them what to do. Encourage the person to make decisions at the right time for them. It is important that they get control back over their own life. This may take a long time.
*Remember that the partner is controlling them. They do not need other people to do the same.
- Do not put pressure on the person to leave their partner. You may be worried about them but they have to make that decision at the right time for them.
- It is natural for you to want the person you care about to be safe. But do not get frustrated if they do not make decisions fast.
- This is because the most dangerous time for a victim is when they leave their partner. Most murders happen when they have just gone or when they are trying to leave.
- Try not to say bad things about the partner. This is because it may make the person embarrassed and less happy to talk to you.