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Why people stay in abusive relationships

There are lots of different reasons why people stay in abusive relationships

· You might feel frightened to leave, as you worry that the person abusing you will try and stop you and become even more violent

· You might rely on the person abusing you for practical or financial support

· You worry about losing your home and access to your children or family members

· You may enjoy the good times you have with them and keep    hoping it won’t happen again

· They may have threatened to harm people you care about if you leave

· You may be reliant on the person abusing you because of your legal or immigration status

· You may feel you have no choice but to stay

How to support a friend if they are being abused

If you are worried a friend is being abused, let them know you’ve noticed something is wrong.

They might not be ready to talk but try to find quiet times when they can talk if they choose to

If someone confides in you that they are suffering domestic abuse:

· listen, and take care not to blame them

· acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse

· give them time to talk, but don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to

· acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation

· tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said

· support them as a friend – encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions

· don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that’s their decision

· ask if they have suffered physical harm – if so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP

· help them report the assault to the police if they choose to

· be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse


· A trusted family member or friend – remember they might not react in the way you expect as they’re not trained in domestic abuse. However, getting the support of a friend to go with you to a specialist agency can be an important first step

· Call Refuge – 0808 2000 247 this is a 24-hour confidential helpline where you can talk anonymously and ask for general information, advice and guidance

· Call Victim Support – 0808 1689 111

· Visit a pharmacy and ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) which is a codeword scheme that enables victims of domestic abuse to discreetly ask for immediate help in participating pharmacies

· Visit a Safe Space – Retailers Boots, Morrisons pharmacies, Superdrug pharmacies, Well Pharmacies, independent pharmacies, HSBC and TSB banks across the UK provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse. You can use a safe space in whichever way works for you. They provide a safe and discrete way to reach out to friends and family and contact specialist support services. Safe Spaces are open and ready for you to use – find at Safe Space at

· Male Abuse helpline – Freephone 0808 8010327

· Karma Nirvana (forced marriage and honour-based abuse) 0800 5999 247

· Galop (LGBT Support) 0800 999 5428

· If you are at risk of harm or it is an emergency, you should always call 999

Source: *Women’s Aid