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What To Do If You Suspect Your Friend Is Experiencing Domestic Abuse

If you suspect that your friend is experiencing abuse, you can step in and support them through this difficult time.

Domestic abuse affects people of all genders, but the stigma surrounding male victims can make it particularly hard for men to reach out for help.

If you suspect that your friend is experiencing abuse, it’s crucial to offer your mate some support and guidance, in a non-judgmental way. This can be through helping them to access professional support if they need it, or just being a friendly ear, standing beside them throughout their journey to break free from the trauma of domestic abuse.

Below are some practical steps that you can take to help a friend that may be experiencing abuse in their relationship:

Seeking Support

Educate Yourself

Before speaking to your friend, take time to educate yourself on domestic abuse, including its various forms, signs, and how it can affect male victims. Understanding the characteristics of abuse will help you to offer more informed support.

Trust Your Instincts

If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right in your mate’s relationship, trust your instincts.

Don’t dismiss your concerns or brush them aside. Your friend may be hesitant or too ashamed to ask for help, stepping in and reaching out with support could make all the difference.

Have A Chat

Step in and start a conversation with your mate. Let them know that you’re concerned about their relationship, their safety and their happiness.

Make sure they know that you won’t judge them if they do want to talk to you about their situation.

Be Supportive

Listen to your friend’s experiences with understanding. Let them know that you believe them, and that they’re not on their own.

Avoid blaming or criticising them for their situation, as this can further isolate them and lower their self-esteem.

Offer Practical Support

Help your friend explore their options and pass on any relevant details for organisations that could help, such as domestic abuse helplines or specialist counselling services.

Offer to go with them to any appointments or support them by making a plan if they decide to leave the abusive relationship.

Respect Their Choices

It’s essential to respect your friend’s decision-making process. We know it’s hard and that you may want to intervene, but ultimately, it’s up to your friend to decide what steps to take regarding their relationship.

Offer support and guidance, but avoid pressuring them into decisions they’re not ready to make.

Keep It Confidential

Respect your friend’s privacy throughout the process by keeping conversations and information to yourself.

Avoid discussing their situation with others, as this can breach their trust and potentially jeopardise their safety.

Encourage Self-Care

Encourage your friend to prioritise themselves and do the things they love the most.

Supporting their mental well-being is vital while they deal with challenging circumstances and begin to recover.

Be Patient

Healing from domestic abuse is a process that takes time, and your friend may need ongoing support and encouragement. Stay available to listen whenever they need it.

Suspect? Support. Share

It’s important to signpost your friend to specialist services. At Freeva, we provide expert support and resources for survivors of domestic abuse, as well as helping with safety planning and police reporting if necessary.

Remember, supporting a mate through an abusive relationship requires patience and understanding.

Your support can make a world of difference in helping your friend to break free from the cycle of abuse, reclaim their autonomy, and rebuild their life.

If you are concerned about your friend’s relationship, now is the time to step in, support them, and share our details.

0808 802 0028

Our helpline is free to call from all mobiles, landlines, and payphones, and is hidden on the telephone bill.

Looking for support? Call our helpline today.

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