If you think a friend or family member is experiencing abuse but they haven’t said anything to you, you could ask them if they need support or information. If you decide to approach them:

  • make sure you are somewhere where they can talk without others hearing or interrupting, especially their partner;
  • maybe start by saying something like, ‘I’m worried about you because you seem unhappy…’; 
  • don’t push them into talking if they aren’t comfortable; and
  • don’t be surprised if they are defensive or reject your support. It may not be the right time for them to talk about it.

If they downplay or deny the abuse or aren’t willing to talk, let them know you are there to support them and wait for a sign that they are ready to talk. It’s important for them to know that they can trust you and that they won’t be judged. Remember it may take many attempts before someone is able to leave an abusive relationship. If it doesn’t happen first time, don’t give up on them. Just let them know you’ll be there when they’re ready.