These questions may be helpful to advance the conversation
'What can I do to help you?'
'How do you think his/her behaviour has affected you?'
'How do you think his/her behaviour is affecting your children?'
'I'm worried about what s/he could do to you or the children.'
'What do you think you should do?'
'What are you afraid of if you leave?'
'What are you afraid of if you stay?'
7 suggestions about how to talk with him/her
1. Approach your friend about the abuse in a sensitive way For example 'I'm worried about you because...'
2. Believe what she tells you! It would have taken a lot for your friend to open up to talk to you and trust you.
3. Take the abuse seriously Abuse can be damaging both physically and emotionally, and is very destructive to someone's self-confidence. Your friend's partner could be placing him/her in real physical danger.
4. Focus on your friend's safety Talk to your friend about their safety and how s/he could protect him/herself.
5. Help your friend understand thatthe abuse is not their fault and that no-one deserves to be abused, no matter what they do, don't do, look like or say.
6. Listen to your friend and help them to think about their relationship regardless of whether your friend wants to break up or stay and how s/he can protect him/herself from any more abuse.
7. Offer help to protect your friend but only if you are not putting your own safety at risk For example, you could offer to be around when the abuser is there, give your friend lifts home, take phone messages from the abuser, etc.
Encourage your friend to talk to a counsellor, or talk to a counsellor yourself about what you could do to supportyour friend
If you feel overwhelmed or frightened yourself, get help.
impact acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as the First Peoples of Australia, the traditional owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia. As such, we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community and we pay our respects to their peoples, their cultures and to their elders past, present and emerging.