Questions to ask

Constructive questions to ask your friend, which may help them clarify their thinking:

  • What can I do to help?
  • How has his/her behaviour made you feel?
  • How is it affecting you?
  • How have you been coping with the abuse?
  • What can you do to make yourself safer?
  • What are you afraid of if you leave?
  • What are you afraid of if you stay?
  • Do you know when an incident is going to happen? Is there a pattern?
  • What’s your worst-case scenario for yourself/your children?
  • What are your worst fears for yourself/your children?
  • What do you already do to protect yourself/your children?
  • Which of the things you do to protect yourself/your children work in practice, and which don’t?
  • What personal strengths do you have that help you to deal with this situation?
  • What external resources are there to help you cope (support networks of friends and family, access to money, access to alternative accommodation and so on)? How can these be increased?
  • Can I help you find out about what other choices might be available?
  • Which options would be most realistic for you?
  • What do you see yourself as actually being able to do?