Abuse in adult relationships
Learn about the different forms of abuse in relationships and where to ...
Your friend may be in an abusive relationship if their partner engages in some or all of these behaviours:
People are more likely to confide in a trusted friend for support.
It can be hard to know what to do or say, but here are some things that can help:
Listen openly, without interrupting.
Explore support options – this can help you understand if they have professional supports.
Validate and normalise, e.g. “Talking about this must be really difficult. It’s normal to feel confused.”
Ask questions, e.g. “How are things between you and your partner?”, “I’ve noticed changes in you, like bruises. How did these happen?”
Explain that what they’ve described sounds like an abusive relationship and that this behaviour is not ok, e.g. “It’s not ok you have experienced this and no one deserves to be treated this way.”
Support them to access professional support – you’re not a counsellor and aren’t expected to have all the answers.
Some things can shut down the conversation. Try to avoid doing and saying these things:
Filling in the story/making assumptions, e.g. “Did they kick you?”
Asking too many questions or pressuring for details
Expressing anger at the abuser
Confronting the abuser (as this can make things worse)
Making promises you can’t keep, e.g. “I won’t tell anyone.”
Questions or statements that might make them feel they are to blame, such as, “Did you scream for help?”
A person who is being abused can take steps to try to avoid violence, but they cannot stop the violence.
The only person who can stop the violence is the abuser.
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