Shining a Light on Victims of Domestic Abuse

shinealight2Do you suspect that someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse?

The charity Refuge advises that people who are being abused may:

  • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)
  • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
  • Rarely go out in public without their partner
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car
  • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal

If you do suspect that someone you know is being abused, Refuge suggests that you:

  • Ask if something is wrong
  • Express concern
  • Listen and validate
  • Offer help
  • Support his or her decisions

and that it is important not to:

  • Wait for him or her to come to you
  • Judge or blame
  • Pressure him or her
  • Give advice
  • Place conditions on your support

Advice can be sought 24 hours a day on the National Domestic Violence Helpline 0800 2000 247 (freephone). You can also call Bromley Women’s Aid Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm or email

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