Speaking to someone you think is abusing
You may have noticed, or have your suspicions, that your friend, colleague, neighbour or family member is abusive towards someone they have a relationship with, possibly their partner, parent or sibling.
The chances are that they are aware of what they are doing. But they possibly don’t recognise that their actions are wrong, don’t know how to change their behaviour, or can’t manage to do so on their own.
Your first priority is to get help for the person they are harming. But, if you have a chance, and you feel safe to do so, talk to the person whose behaviour you are concerned about.
Choose a quiet space and time, but ensure you are not alone with them in case they get angry or upset. Maybe choose a room in a building where other people are around.
- Reassure them that you want to help
- Point out, as clearly and calmly as you can, what you have noticed
- Listen to what they say, whilst not getting involved in the details of the relationship
- It’s never ok to hurt others physically or emotionally, try not to pass comments or judgement
- Offer to support them to talk to their doctor, the National Respect Helpline on 0808 802404, or a local support service.
There is more information, help and advice on the National Respect Helpline’s website.