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How to Support Others

We know it can be difficult to know what to say when you suspect someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse or rape. Here's some steps that you can take to support a loved one.

You may be anxious about upsetting them, saying the wrong thing, or feel unable to broach the subject at all. However, understanding how to support this person could be a vital lifeline.

Let’s go through some steps that you can take (and things to avoid) to support a loved one who may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Supporting Others

Make Time

Provide plenty of time and space for them to open up, if they choose to. Ensure you create an environment where they feel safe and are not being rushed or pressured.

Start a Conversation

If you’re unsure how to broach the subject, you can say “I’m worried about you because …” and begin to explain why you are concerned. Let them know you are here to listen and that they can trust you to be non-judgmental, and to keep anything they disclose to yourself.

Listen

If they open up to you, try to listen without interjecting to offer advice, solutions, or your opinion. Allow them the opportunity to get everything they need to off their chest, you may be the first person they have spoken to about it.

Provide Validation

Victims often experience a range of conflicting emotions, so they may be feeling confused and frustrated with themselves. Let them know that it is normal for a person to feel this way when subjected to abuse.

Offer Support

Do what you can to help them. This may include looking up specialist help, support groups, helplines or relevant resources, and tell them that you are there to help them no matter what.

It’s important to remember that the victim will likely be vulnerable, and opening up to talk to you will be hard for them to do. Take your time, don’t pressure them, and let them tell you as much or as little as they feel comfortable doing. Don’t be scared of saying the wrong thing, they will most likely be grateful for you listening and being there

If you’re concerned about someone you know, and are looking to find specialised support for them, such as counselling or an ear to listen, call our helpline today.

Looking for support? Call our helpline today.

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How to Support Others

We know it can be difficult to know what to say when you suspect someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse or rape. We can talk you through some steps you can take to support a loved one.

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