Supporting someone who has experienced or is experiencing domestic abuse can be daunting especially when it is someone close to you . Remember you don't have to be an expert to support someone but there are some simple things you can do that will help.

Listen and Believe

  • Listen. If someone discloses an experience of domestic abuse to you it is important to listen to what they say with no judgment. Giving them compassion and empathy and taking the time to listen can really help. 
  • Believe. Instead of asking a lot of questions, let them know that you believe them and will support them as best as you can. Try not to skip ahead to what to do practically without first validating what you have heard. 
  • Reassure. Reassure them that what happened to them is not their fault, and regardless of their relationship or status, abuse is not warranted. 
  • Give Options. Some people who have experienced domestic abuse may feel they have lost their power and control of decisions, so it is important to respond in a way so they can feel in control of what happens next. You can do this by asking them what they want or need and if they are unsure offering to support them to access specialist services. Let them know they are not alone and they can seek specialist support either through the University or external support services.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened