Approach her about the abuse in a sensitive way
For example 'I'm worried about you because...'
Believe what she tells you!
It would have taken a lot for her to talk to you and trust you.
Take the abuse seriously
Abuse can be damaging both physically and emotionally, and is very destructive to someones self-confidence.
Her boyfriend or partner could be placing her in real physical danger.
Focus on her safety
Talk to her about her safety and how she could protect herself.
Help her to recognise the abuse and understand
how it may be affecting her and her children
Recognise and support her strength and courage
Help her understand that the abuse is not her fault
and that no-one deserves to be abused, no matter what they do or say.
Listen to her and help her to think about her relationship
regardless of whether she wants to break up or stay and how she can protect herself from any more abuse.
Offer help to protect her
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 her lifts home, take phone messages from the abuser, etc.
These questions may be helpful to advance the conversation
'What can I do to help you?'
'How do you think his behaviour has affected you?'
'How do you think his behaviour is affecting your children?'
'I'm worried about what 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?'
Encourage her to talk to a counsellor, or talk to a counsellor yourself about what you could do to support her
If you feel overwhelmed or frightened yourself, get help
7 tips about how to be there