This is a guide for people who have a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who they think may be in a relationship with a partner or an adult family member who has been abusive towards them.
‘Domestic abuse’ or ‘domestic violence’ are terms often used to describe abuse from one partner towards another or from one adult family member towards another, but it can be difficult to know exactly what they mean and, for you, as the person outside of the relationship, it can be difficult to know whether or not you should be concerned.
This guide will explain what domestic abuse is, what things you can do to help the situation and how you can look after yourself. Supporting someone who is going through (or who has been through) an abusive relationship can affect how you feel, how you relate to others, how safe you feel and how you see the world, so it is completely normal to feel a whole range of emotions about the situation. Within this guide, not every situation described will be similar to yours, but be encouraged that you are not alone in your experiences, that there are things you can do to support the person you know and yourself, and that there are organisations which can offer assistance.