Any form of Abuse is #Never OK.

If you think you may know someone who has experienced abuse of any kind, it may be hard to know what to do to support them or to manage how you are feeling. Supporting someone who has or is experiencing abuse can be daunting especially when it is someone close to you and you are worried about saying or doing the wrong thing. You don't have to be an expert to support someone - there are some really simple things you can do that will help.

  • Listen. If someone discloses an experience of abuse to you, listening to them with compassion and empathy and no judgment can be incredibly helpful. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. 
  • Believe. Rather than asking a lot of questions, just let them know that you believe them and will support them as best as you can. Try not to skip ahead to what to do practically without first validating what you have heard and listening to what they have to say.
  • Reassure. Remind them that no one, regardless of relationship or status, has the right to hurt them and that no matter what, it is not their fault that this occurred.
  • Give Options.  You can simply ask them what they need or want. They might not make the same decision you would; however, only they can decide what is best for them.  You can help them explore options but avoid telling them what they should do.
  • If someone you know has been affected, you can encourage them to seek support. Alternatively, you make an anonymous disclosure which will allow us to investigate if there are multiple instances in one area.
Seek Support - There are a number of specialist organisations that provide specialist support, including counselling for those affected by harassment. You could encourage the student or staff member to reach out to such support.

There are two ways you can tell us what happened