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If you think someone you know is in an abusive relationship there are things you can do to help. The important thing to remember is to do it sensitively and of course in a way that keeps both of you safe.


You cannot make decisions for the person you are trying to help. What’s important is that they know they have your support whatever they choose to do.


  • Listen to her and try to understand; take care not to blame her. Tell her she is not alone and there are many women in the same situation. Give her time to talk if she wants to.
  • Tell her nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten no matter what her abuser has told her.
  • Let her make her own decisions. Don’t tell her to leave if she is not ready to leave.
  • If she is physically hurt offer to go with her to the hospital or GP. Help her to report the assault to the Gardai if she wants to.
  • Tell her about our services here at ADAPT. We can help her in lots of ways including if she decides to stay with her partner.
  • If she has children and is worried about them tell her she can discuss this with ADAPT or the public health nurse.
  • Use the Safety Plan to help her to stay safe. Do not push her to do anything she is not sure about.
  • Offer her the use of your address and/or phone number for information and messages. Offer to keep an emergency bag for her.
  • Look after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult time. Make sure you do not put yourself into a dangerous situation.
  • Find out information on the issue of domestic abuse and the available supports and encourage her to contact a  Domestic Abuse Service so that she can make informed choices.
  • If you would like advice on how best to safely support the person you are concerned about you can contact ADAPT on freephone 1800 200 504 or any of the other services around the country. For the contact details of domestic abuse services around the country click here

To download a guide to helping a friend or relative who is experiencing domestic abuse click here. This guide was produced by West Limerick Resources and supported by the HSE.