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How to help someone who is being abused

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How to help someone who is being abused

If the person experiencing abuse or sexual violence is at immediate risk, then call the police on 999.

Encourage the person being abused to contact Camden Safety Net. Camden’s domestic abuse service provides independent, confidential, and non-judgemental support and advocacy. They can call the duty worker on 020 7974 2526 or email [email protected]. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is 0808 2000 247 and can be called at any time.

If it is not safe for them to stay in Camden, they can approach any council to get support.

Create a safe space

Provide a safe space to talk and do not judge the person’s choices or decisions. It’s important that you:

  • tell them that you are worried about them, and it is not their fault
  • validate their feelings and listen
  • believe what they are telling you
  • tell them that they do have options and that there are services that can support them
  • do not give ultimatums about leaving the abusive person
  • do not try to mediate between the person and their abuser, particularly if coercive control is being used

If it is not safe to talk

You can:

  • encourage the person to contact Camden Safety Net for confidential support and advocacy on 020 7974 2526 or email [email protected]
  • suggest that they set up an email account which only they have access to
  • suggest if they are going out that they use this time to call services for help

Practical support for the victim

You can:

  • encourage the person to keep a phone close by with credit and charge
  • talk through how they would leave the property if they felt in danger. Ask if they would consider a refuge or if there is anyone they could stay with temporarily. There is more information on planning to leave
  • encourage them to set up a code word with a trusted family member, friend or professional who they can text in an emergency to get help. This could be an indicator to call the police 
  • ask if there is a room in the property that they can go to if a situation escalates. It is best to avoid rooms with potential dangers such as boiling water or knives in a kitchen, or stairs where there is a risk of being pushed