Exit site now
Logo for Signhealth, the deaf charity

Search the site

I am worried about someone else

Basic steps you can take to support someone experiencing domestic abuse

Are you concerned that a Deaf person you know is experiencing abuse behind closed doors?

There are some basic steps that you can take to support someone.

How you can help

  • Give them time to share, but don’t push them to go into too much detail if they don’t want to. Try to understand and take care not to blame the victim. 
  • Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to share an experience of abuse. Acknowledge that it is a frightening and very difficult situation.
  • Tell them they are not alone, there are many people in similar situations.
  • Tell them that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what their abuser has told them. Nothing justifies the abuser’s behaviour.
  • Support them as a friend. Encourage them to express their feelings.
  • Allow them to make their own decisions. Don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready to do this. This is their decision.
  • Ask if they have suffered physical harm. If so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP.
  • Help them report the assault to the police if they choose to do so.
  • Be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help. SignHealth has information about domestic abuse and our services available in BSL at the links listed below or they can contact our Domestic Abuse team directly. 
  • Go with them to visit a solicitor if they are ready to take this step.
  • Plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Let them create their own boundaries of what is safe and what is not safe.
  • Offer your friend the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages. If necessary, offer to look after an emergency bag of items they might need if they leave their partner suddenly. 
  • Look after yourself while you are supporting someone. Ensure that you do not put yourself into danger; for example, do not offer to confront the abuser about your friend or let yourself be seen by the abuser as a threat to their relationship.

We support victims of domestic abuse and work to prevent it…

Information

BSL resources and short films about domestic abuse and related topics

Why does SignHealth provide a domestic abuse service?

Domestic abuse can have severe short and long-term impacts on a survivor’s health. Deaf people are more at risk than our hearing peers to experience abuse and barriers to getting the information and help needed to stay safe. 

At SignHealth, we are working towards a future where Deaf people can lead safe, healthy lives, with the same opportunities to meet their full potential.

two women walking and signing