It can be difficult to see a friend being treated in ways that are harmful by their family, partner or people they care about. You might want to do something to help them straight away or feel stuck about what you can do to help.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if what’s happening at home or in your relationships is okay. Maybe the people in your house, your family, or the people you are dating act in ways that make you feel unsafe, scared or unable to be the person you are or want to be. When someone does things that hurt, bully or control another person, it is called abuse.
Often it can be difficult to recognise or articulate your experience as family or intimate partner violence. This may be due to ongoing control, manipulation or gaslighting as well as minimisation from family, friends, or the person using violence.
People may experience intimate partner violence from a current partner, partners or ex-partners. Family Violence can be used by someone from family of origin, chosen family, or someone in a caring role.
It can be difficult to see your friend, family member, or colleague being treated abusively in a relationship. It is important to remember that the person may not be ready to take immediate action or it may not be safe for them to do so. They may have care of children or pets to consider or may not be emotionally ready to identify their experience as family violence. Whatever the reason, it is important to start a conversation, listen to them, and remember that they are the expert in their own story.
The end of a relationship can occur in a mutual and respectful way. In many cases people choose to attend mediation, access counselling or use financial advice services to help them work out the best options for the future care of children or pets, and for help with dividing assets like housing, finances or other matters.