You Can Help Someone Else Your FAQs "Is domestic abuse a real issue?" Unfortunately, 1 in 4 women will experience abuse at some point in their lives; this could be someone you know or love. Many people still believe that domestic abuse should be dealt with behind closed doors. If we do not speak out against it, we become part of the problem. "Wouldn't she just ask for my help if she needed it?" Only 16% of domestic violence is reported to the police, which means that most victims suffer in silence. By reaching out to a friend, you can help break her isolation. "Why doesn't she just leave?" On average it takes 7 attempts at leaving before the process is completed. Some abusive partners manipulate their partners into staying. Women who experience abuse often feel ashamed, confused and alone. They need their friends more than ever. "Shouldn't domestic abuse be dealt with behind closed doors?" The answer is always NO. Domestic abuse should not be allowed to happen at all. It is a crime. We are all affected by domestic violence in some way so we all have a responsibility to speak out against it. "What if she just winds him up?" Domestic violence is a crime and should be treated with the same severity as any other violent crime. Victims may believe they are the cause of a violent outburst but violence is a choice made by the abusive partner, no one else. "I've told her to leave but she won't" Abused women often do not realise that what they are experiencing is domestic violence. On average it can take 5 years for a partner to identify abuse. There are also other factors such as children, finances and low self esteem - they may not believe they can make it without their abusive partner but you can help your friend to recognise the signs and take steps to stay safe. If she feels supported and encouraged, she may feel stronger and more able to make decisions. "He doesn't hit her. Is it still abuse?" In 2015, the UK passed a law making “coercive or controlling” domestic abuse a crime punishable by up to five years behind bars — even if there is no physical violence present in the relationship. The term 'domestic abuse' covers a range of actions and behaviours that can be just as damaging, if not more, than physical violence itself. "Abusers are suffering from a mental Illness" There is no correlation between mental illness and domestic abuse. If you are unsure, a simple question to ask yourself is; "if this abusive man is mentally ill, why is it that he only abuses his partner – not his colleagues, strangers or friends?" "He only hits her when he's been drinking or taking drugs. It's not his fault" It is true that alcohol and drugs can trigger an abusive situation but they are by no means the underlying cause for this behaviour. Plenty of people who drink or take drugs do not abuse their partner. Likewise, many sober men do not drink or take drugs but still abuse their partners.