I NEED HELP

In an emergency please call the police on 999.

For any other support please call us on 02476 444 077, between 9am - 4.30pm Monday - Friday, or email info@coventryhaven.co.uk. In an emergency always call 999.

Out of our normal office hours, please call the Women's Aid free Helpline 24/7 on 0808 2000 247

CONCERNED FOR SOMEONE ELSE

How you can help:

  • Listen to her, try to understand and take care not to blame her. Tell her that she is not alone and that there are many women like her in the same situation
  • Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give her time to talk, but don’t push her to go into too much detail if she doesn’t want to.
  • Acknowledge that she is in a frightening and very difficult situation
  • Tell her that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what her abuser has told her. Nothing she can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour
  • Support her as a friend. Encourage her to express her feelings, whatever they are. Allow her to make her own decisions
  • Don’t tell her to leave the relationship if she is not ready to do this. This is her own decision
  • Ask if she has suffered physical harm. If so, offer to go with her to a hospital or to see her GP
  • Help her to report the assault to the police if she chooses to do so
  • Offer to keep a record of any incident that she dictates to you
  • Be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help to abused women and their children. Explore the available options with her. Tell her about the Women's Aid helpline that is free and open 24/7 on 0808 2000 247, and how to access their website https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
  • Go with her to visit a solicitor if she is ready to take this step
  • Plan safe strategies for leaving the abusive relationship
  • Arrange an agreed plan so you both know what to do if she needs you in an emergency and how you would communicate
  • Let her create her own boundaries of what she thinks is safe and what is not safe; don’t urge her to follow any strategies that she expresses doubt about
  • Offer your friend the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages, and tell her you will look after an emergency bag for her, if she wants 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

Please note that we are more than happy to support you too in how to help a friend, if you yourself need assistance with how best to offer safe support. Please call us on 02476 444 077 or email info@coventryhaven.co.uk with your contact details.