When She Tells You

Abuse can be Physical, Emotional or Sexual

Abuse is a game of power and control. IT IS NOT LOVE.

Your support and encouragement can help her feel stronger and more able to make decisions. She’s putting a lot of trust in you. How you respond is very important.

Be Prepared to:

  • LISTEN TO HER – the most important thing you can do is listen without judging her.
  • BELIEVE HER
  • SUPPORT HER WHETHER HER DECISION IS TO STAY OR LEAVE

Things you can say:

  • You can tell me about it.
  • You don’t have to do this by yourself.
  • There is help out there for you.
  • Let’s find out what you can do one step at a time.
  • I believe you
  • You do not deserve to be abused
  • I am afraid for your safety and the safety of your children
  • Do you need help to find out what services are available?

How do I know if I should get involved?

Involvement doesn’t mean having to solve the situation – It’s helping your friend find her own answers and putting her in contact with support services if she needs them. See DV State/Territory Contacts link at the top of this page and also Relevant Links and Relevant Contacts

  • Most people will appreciate an expression of concern for their well being.
  • If she has chosen to talk to you it is probably because she trusts you.
  • Your support can make a difference.
  • You decide how much support you can offer.
  • Domestic and family abuse is not a private matter. – HELPING ISN’T INTERFERING.

Take Care

Assess the level of danger to yourself and your friend before you decide how to safely support her. If your friend decides to leave, help to put her in touch with a specialised domestic violence service or the police who could  assist her to safety.

Safety Planning

If you think you or your friend might be in danger, call the police.

If she doesn’t want to involve professional help at this point, encourage her to make a personal safety plan even if she thinks there may not be a “next time”. She may need to leave in a hurry.