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My Friend is Experiencing Emotional Abuse

Published: July 15, 2016

  • ACT ON IT does have a HELP A FRIEND PAGE, but we will answer any questions sent in.
  • Firstly it’s important not to judge them, but show some concern about the situation and encourage them to open up with time – do not rush them and talk to them in private.
  • Ensure your response supports and encourages them to talk about the situation. It could create an opportunity for them to explore their options and in time make their decisions. If they’re not ready, don’t push them.
  • People being abused will become isolated because of their partner, they may give lame excuses for missing meetings, reject your support, become defensive and deny there is a problem. Be patient, don’t give in, just be there friend and gently remind you’ll always be there.
  • Do not tell anyone to leave or criticise them for staying in the relationship. Allow them make the decision of leaving in their own time because it involves both emotional and practical considerations. You can research support options or show them ACT ON IT help and support pages.
  • Do not mediate or be the contact person between them and the perpetrator, but volunteer to keep copies of their important documents or items they may need in an emergency at your home.
  • Remember to take things easy and look after yourself while supporting your friend, their are trained specialists who can help and it may not be possible for you to support them all the time, assure them of the fact that they are not alone and there is help available to them – encourage them to speak to a specialist support organisation if they haven’t already. They may refuse – do not force them.
  • Remind them of the importance of calling 999 if they are in immediate danger and offer the necessary helplines.

If you’re still worried after speaking to them tell someone, in school a teacher, at work a manager, anyone who has a duty of care to that person.