If you are a friend

Do you know someone who treats their partner badly?

Do you think someone close to you is treating the person they’re with badly? Are you worried they’re committing emotional, physical, sexual or digital abuse?

Whether it’s your best friend or someone you don't know very well, what you do matters. The same applies if you are a parent or an adult who works with young people. Choosing to close your eyes and not do anything can have devastating consequences for the person being abused. It can lead to the abuse and assaults continuing. Both the victim and the abuser may notice that people around them can’t be bothered, don’t want to or don’t dare to get involved. Imagine how you would feel if you saw that people around you knew about the abuse and didn’t do anything. You are important, and what you do can make a huge difference! Trust your gut instinct.

Tell the person what you have heard, seen and observed and make it clear that their behaviour is not acceptable. Deciding to have that conversation may be hard and it may feel scary but it’s important. Don’t try to diminish or explain away the abuse and assaults.

Do you need support and help to know what to do? Chat anonymously with us every evening between 20-22. At the moment we can only offer support and information in Swedish and in most cases in English.

Do you know someone who is being abused by their partner?

Are you worried about a friend, a family member or someone else close to you? How you react is important and makes a difference to the person who is being abused. Many people tell us how much it meant to them that someone, like a friend, a neighbour, a relative or a classmate, dared to ask and dared to listen.

THE WARNING SIGNS: IS YOUR FRIEND BEING ABUSED?

Your friend...

  • Is hardly ever able to go to things with you without their partner.
  • Has to constantly answer messages and calls from their partner.
  • Gives up their own interests and spare-time activities.
  • Has a visible injury.
  • Starts avoiding you and other friends.
  • Is often dropped off and picked up by their partner when you meet.
  • Seems stressed and unhappy about their relationship.

MY FRIEND IS BEING ABUSED IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Is your friend being abused emotionally, physically or sexually by the person they’re with? If so, then it’s important you don’t stay silent. Reacting and showing your friend that they have your support is the best thing you can do for them.

  • Tell your friend why you’re worried.
  • Say you’ll be there if and when they want to talk about it.
  • Listen without questioning, putting pressure on them or blaming them.
  • Make it clear that what their partner does is not acceptable.
  • Offer to go to the police station with your friend if they want to report it.
  • Help your friend to find out where they can turn to for support; for example, tell them about ungarelationer.se. ungarelationer.se
  • Write down the time and place of all the abuse you see or hear, for example if you notice that your friend is being harassed and persecuted, or if you hear threats or physical abuse. This information can be used in a future police report.

Don’t be surprised if your friend doesn't seem relieved and happy that you’re trying to help at first, but is irritated, defends the person abusing them and maybe avoids you. This is a common reaction. Don’t give up; try to bring it up again a little later.

It can be hard to watch someone you know suffering. We can support you. Chat anonymously with us every evening between 20-22. At the moment we are only able to offer support and information via the chat in Swedish, and in most cases in English. Vi kan stötta dig, chatta anonymt with us every evening between 20-22. At the moment we can only offer support and information in Swedish and in most cases in English.