13 WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE

The chances are high that you may have a family member, or friend who is experiencing abuse behind closed doors.

Unless you are trying to help someone who has been very open about their experiences it may be difficult for you to acknowledge the problem directly.

However, there are some basic steps that you can take to assist and give support to a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour or anyone you know who confides in you that they are experiencing domestic abuse:

(1) Listen and take care not to blame them
(2) acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
(3) give them time to talk, but don't push them to talk if they don't want to
(4) acknowledge they're in a frightening and difficult situation
(5) Let them know that you will always be there no matter what
(6) tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
(7) support them as a friend - encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
(8) Create a code word they can use to let you know if they are in danger without an abuser knowing.
(9) don't tell them to leave the relationship if they're not ready - that's their decision
(10) ask if they have suffered physical harm - if so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP
(11) help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
(12) be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse
(13) agree on a place to meet her if she has to leave in a hurry

For more information and free resources to help, visit: http://safe2speak.co.uk/