I think I know someone who has experienced Domestic Abuse
If you think someone you know is or has been experiencing domestic violence, there are lots of ways you can help them.
People’s reactions to experiencing domestic violence can vary; they may be afraid, angry or have no outward reaction at all. They might even act in ways that seem unusual to you, even laughing at seemingly inappropriate times or trivialising what has happened to them.
Disclosures can come in many forms; it could be something said jokingly, a story that someone starts to tell then stops and says it doesn't matter, or it could be a question. You are not expected to be a professional counsellor; however how someone responds to a first disclosure can be really important. It can take time for a person to decide what they want to do and how they want to move forward.
• Is the person in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999.
• Finding a safe space. If possible, try and find somewhere the person feels safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call security 07885201182 / 01904 876444 . The Security Team can provide assistance and are able to be contacted 24 hours a day.
• Domestic Abuse is a crime of power and control. The most important thing is to respond in a way that maximizes their choice and control over what happens next. You can simply ask them what they need or want. They might not make the same decision you would; however, only they can decide what is best for them. You can help them explore options but avoid telling them what they should do.
• Domestic Abuse can happen to anyone, by anyone. There are lots of different kinds of abuse, but it is always about having power and control over the person. You can read more about what Domestic Abuse is here, where there is also a useful Domestic Abuse Checklist.
• Listen. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them. Published on Oct 4, 2015 Based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening
• Give options. When they have finished talking ask them if they are ok to talk through some possible options and next steps. Remember, it is important that they decide what they want to do.
• University Welfare Advisers can tell you more about the support available both within and outside of the University, as well as reporting options. You can contact the Welfare Advisers by email or telephone: firstname.lastname@example.org 01904 876477
• Report and Support. You can Report any incident of Domestic Abuse on behalf of someone else, anonymously or you can report with your details by clicking on ‘report with contact details’ which will put you in touch with a University Welfare Adviser.