Perhaps she avoids talking about her partner, seems to be losing confidence in herself, and has become increasingly distant? Or perhaps she mentioned something that he did or said which is worrying you?
If your alarm bells are ringing, your red flag radar and your gut are telling you something is off and you think your friend is experiencing domestic abuse behind closed doors, you might feel helpless, but there are ways you can support her.
- Create a safe, private space to check in with her and let her know you’ve noticed something’s wrong
- Give her time to talk, but don’t push her to if she isn’t ready
- When she opens up, listen, trust her, take her seriously and don’t judge her
- Acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
- Acknowledge she is in a frightening and difficult situation
- Reassure her that it’s not her fault, no matter what her abuser has said
- Remind her that she is not alone and that there are solutions but allow her to make her own decisions
- Don’t pressure her to leave the relationship if she’s not ready – that’s her decision, but offer to help her prepare an emergency bag
- If she’s local, encourage her to contact us on 01795 417251 or via our live website chat when she feels ready