I’m concerned about myself or someone else

The chances are high that you may know a sister, mum, colleague, cousin, or friend who is experiencing abuse behind closed doors.

Unless you are trying to help someone who has been very open about their experiences it may be difficult for you to acknowledge the problem directly.

However, there are some basic steps that you can take to assist and give support to a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour, or anyone you know who confides in you that they are experiencing domestic abuse.

concerned about myself or someone

How you can help

  • Listen, try to understand, and take care not to blame them.
  • Tell them that they are not alone and that there are many people like them in the same situation.
  • Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give them time to talk, but don’t push them to go into too much detail if they don’t want to.
  • Acknowledge that they are in a frightening and very difficult situation.
  • Tell them that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what their abuser has told them. Nothing they can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour.
  • Support them as a friend. Encourage then to express their feelings, whatever they are. Allow them to make their own decisions.
  • Don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready to do this. This is their decision.
  • Ask if they have suffered physical harm. If so, offer to go with them to a hospital or to see their GP.
  • Help them to report the assault to the police if they choose to do so.
  • Be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help. (Refer to support services on Contacts page)
  • Plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship. ( Refer to safety planning page)
  • Let them create their own boundaries of what they thinks is safe and what is not safe; don’t urge them to follow any strategies that they express doubt about.
  • Offer your friend the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages and tell them you will look after an emergency bag for them, if they want this.
  • Look after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time. Ensure that you do not put yourself into a dangerous situation; for example, do not offer to talk to the abuser about your friend or let yourself be seen by the abuser as a threat to their relationship.

Clare’s Law

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – often known as Clare’s Law – is named after Clare Wood who was brutally murdered by her former partner George Appleton, who had a record of violence against women. It is designed to provide victims with information that may protect them from an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy. The scheme allows the police to disclose information about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.

Anyone can make an application about an individual who is in an intimate relationship with another person and where there is a concern that the individual may harm the other person “The Right to Know”

Any concerned third party, such as a parent, neighbour or friend can make an application not just the potential victim; however,

“The Right to Ask”

A third party making an application would not necessarily receive the information about the individual concerned. It may be more appropriate for someone else to receive the information such as the victim or another person who is best placed to protect the potential victim.

Application can be made by either calling 101 or by simply going to your local police station. OR via the link below

Request information under Clare’s Law: Make a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) application | Greater Manchester Police (gmp.police.uk)