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Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service

Call: 01452 726 570 Email:

Recognising domestic abuse

The information below will help you recognise the signs of domestic abuse.

I think I am experiencing domestic abuse

  • Are you feeling scared?
  • Are you feeling intimidated or threatened?
  • Are you being stopped from seeing your friends or family?
  • Have you been forced to do something you don’t want to do?
  • Have you been hurt or has someone threatened to hurt you?
  • Is someone trying to take you abroad when you don’t want to?
  • Are you expected to take part in an arranged marriage that you haven’t agreed to?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing domestic abuse.
Two thirds of domestic abuse victims experience PTSD (More than 2x the rate of soldiers in combat)

I think my friend is experiencing domestic abuse

Your friend may not be able to tell you that they are being abused. Here are some signs to look out for:

The perpetrator

  • Talks over them
  • Pretends to be the victim
  • Tries to keep them away from you
  • Puts your friend down
  • Puts you down
  • Makes up rumours
  • Acts like they are better than everyone else
  • Jokes with their friends about the victim

The victim

  • Makes excuses for their behaviour
  • Doesn’t talk as much when their partner is around
  • Changes their appearance (wears long sleeves, cuts their hair)
  • Appears lonely, or sad
  • Stops spending time with you or their other friends.

Your friend or relative may not be spending as much time with you as they did before. This is not necessarily their fault. They may not have a choice.
Disabled women are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse than non-disabled women

What can I do to help my friend?

Bring up the subject

Ask them if they’re OK. Even if they don’t want to talk about it, they will know that you care about them

Offer support, not instructions

They are already experiencing control, be careful not to do the same. Let them know you are there for them whatever they decide to do.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Don’t judge them, it has taken a lot for them to talk to you. Listen to what they choose to tell you and offer them support as their friend.

Do not confront the abuser

This could make things worse for your friend and the abuser could try to isolate them more.

Help them to access support

There are services in place that can support your friend, you could help them to access them.
32% of homeless women said domestic violence contributed to their homelessness