Supporting someone

  • For people who have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence the right support can make all the difference
  • It is common to feel unsure about the best things to say and do, but you should never feel too scared to say something
  • There are some simple things to be aware of that will help make it easier for you and the person you are supporting.

Responding to violence and abuse

It takes a lot of courage to disclose an experience of sexual assault, domestic or family violence. Responding sensitively can make a real difference to someone's wellbeing and how they approach their situation. 

You can support them by:

  • Taking time, listening to their story and validating them
  • Making sure they have the privacy to be able to tell their story
  • Not asking too many questions about what has happened — this can be intrusive and re-traumatising
  • Not arguing with them or pushing them to leave their situation or take action
  • Respecting their right to have control over what they say and the actions they want to take
  • Asking about what support they have to help them at the moment and encouraging them to seek further support, such as 1800RESPECT telephone or online counselling or a local support service which you can help them find by searching our Service Directory.

Find out more about how you can offer support to someone experiencing domestic or family violence, sexual violence, or to a child in the links below.