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Domestic abuse - I know someone in danger, how can I help?

Report serious abuse immediately 

If serious physical domestic abuse is happening in your presence or if you are afraid for someone's immediate safety call 999 immediately for medical support and the Police.

What prevents a victim from leaving?

There are many barriers that prevent a person from leaving abusive relationships.

With the correct help, the individual can be empowered to make the best decisions for them, whilst holding the abuser solely accountable for their behaviour. 

Early intervention can help to prevent escalation and recurring abuse.

If you want to know how to support a victim of domestic abuse, please bear in mind:

  • any decisions should be made by the victims (unless there is a concern for their imminent safety then inform the police)
  • you may not be the person the victim wants to help them
  • the victim may not be seeking any help or want help and this must be respected (unless there is a concern for their imminent safety then inform the police)

Show your kindness and concern. It is easier for the person who is experiencing abuse to talk about what is happening if questions are asked in a kind and concerning way.

Many people will struggle with terminology like domestic abuse or domestic violence so it is best not to use that language.

They may not want to talk about their experiences but if they do, find a quiet time when they can talk, if they chose to, let them take their time, be ready to ask a few questions and point them in the right direction to obtain help. Visit our domestic abuse - where can I go for local support page for information on this.

If they start to talk to you about their experience with domestic abuse, listen with an open mind and a supportive attitude. Try not to offer opinions about the abuser or the situation. 

What is important is to let them know that you believe them and to reassure them that it is not their fault they are being abused. Tell them that you are concerned and worried about them and that you want to help. 

It is now in your power to discretely and respectfully offer the individual support by providing information on local support services, or if more appropriate the Police.