I know someone who needs help

How we can help

A multi-ethnic group of adults are attending a group therapy session. The attendees are seated in a circle. A senior black woman is sharing her struggles with the group. A mixed-race young woman rests her arm on the woman's back, expressing comfort and support.

I wish to refer someone to your service

We are happy for women, children and young people to contact us directly for support.  We do accept referrals from a range of services but only where express consent has been given.  If you’d like to make a referral please contact us, we can take details over the telephone or provide you a referral form if you’d prefer to provide more detailed information. Contact us on 0131 561 5800.
'a thousand words' commissioned by Scottish Womens Aid and Zero Tolerance. Copyright Laura Dodsworth

I’m worried about a friend or family member

If you know someone who is experiencing domestic abuse it can be upsetting and difficult to know what to do. The most important thing is not to ignore it.
Importantly, let her know that you believe her and that you want to help. Be patient and signpost her to our website so she can find out more about domestic abuse to help her understand her situation. Inform her that there is local support available and that she has options.
It can be very tempting to try to save someone from their relationship and that might include putting pressure on her to leave or confronting her (ex) partner but we know it’s more important to listen to what she wants to do. In fact, leaving the relationship or confronting her partner may significantly increase her risk.

Here are some things you can try that will help her feel supported

Try to be direct, by saying something like “I’m worried about you because…”.
Avoid judging her, or making her feel bad for staying in the relationship.
Try to listen to her, let her share how she is feeling and believe what she is telling you.
Avoid telling her how you think she should feel, making her feel guilty, or that the abuse is her fault by suggesting she behave differently.
Try to offer her options for support like her local domestic abuse service, and let her know help is available for her.
Avoid giving her any ultimatums, telling her she has to leave, or putting any pressure on her to make decisions.
Try to remind her that the abuse is not her fault and that you know she is in a difficult situation.
Avoid criticising and insulting her partner, this could make her stop talking to you or make her feel as though she should defend him.
Try to build her self-confidence and remind her often that she is strong and capable.
Avoid showing that you are frustrated because she doesn’t want to leave or because she believes he will change.
Try to listen to how she wants to handle the abuse and respect that she might not want to or feel safe enough to report it.
Avoid putting pressure on her or telling her she has to report him to the police – this might make her withdraw.
Try to find practical ways to support her, like offering to go to the doctor with her or to a support agency and being ready with information about what support she can expect.
Avoid making her feel like she is a bad mum or that she is not looking after her children.

Source: Scottish Women’s Aid

I need help

How can we help you?

'a thousand words' commissioned by Scottish Womens Aid and Zero Tolerance. Copyright Laura Dodsworth


We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to raise money.
Talk to someone in confidence,  please call our support line: Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline open 24/7: