If you think a friend or family member is being abused, there's a lot you can do to help:
- Speak to the person, and let them know they're not to blame and support is available.
- Listen to them without judging.
- Help them work out what they want to do.
- Encourage them to seek help or call the police.
- Call the police if you witness or hear assaults.
- Provide help with safety planning.
Where to get help and advice for yourself or someone you know
There's a wide range of support in the borough of Rochdale and Greater Manchester for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
- Call 999 in an emergency - if you can't talk on the call, try coughing or tapping the phone. If the operator asks you if you're in danger, press 55.
- If it's not an emergency, call 101 - Greater Manchester Police Switchboard is open 24 hours a day.
- Rochdale Victim Support:
- Safenet - contact us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:
- Phone 0300 303 3581
- Rochdale Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (Ehash) - if you're concerned a child might be suffering from harm or living in a harmful environment, you can report these safeguarding concerns or call to get advice and information about support available.
How to tell if someone is a victim of domestic abuse
It's sometimes difficult to know if a relative, friend, neighbour or colleague is experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Victims, survivors and perpetrators come from various walks of life. Most people that experience relationship violence don't tell others about what goes on at home.
Here are some of the signs you can look for:
Injuries and excuses
Sometimes bruises and injuries may occur frequently and be in obvious places.
The victim may be forced to call in sick to work or face the embarrassment and make excuses about how the injuries occurred.
Sometimes bruises and other injuries may be inflicted in places where they won't show.
Some victims and survivors have low self-esteem. Others may have confidence and esteem in some areas of their life, for example, at work, but not in their relationship.
They may feel powerless in dealing with the relationship and believe they couldn't make it on their own or are somehow better off having the abuser in their life.
You may notice the person becomes quiet and shy around their partner and agrees with them all the time.
This could be a victim's way of dealing with abuse and not wanting to challenge the perpetrator for fear of repercussions.
You may notice someone taking all of the blame for things that go wrong.
They may share a story about something that happened at home and then say it was all their fault. If this happens a lot, it may be a sign that this person is experiencing domestic abuse.
Isolation and control
In general, adults who are physically abused are often isolated. The abuser often exerts control over their victim's life, wanting to be the centre of their universe and limit their access to anyone who might help them escape.
You might notice that someone:
- Has limited access to the phone.
- Often makes excuses about why they can't see you or insists that their partner has to come along.
- Doesn't seem to be able to make decisions about spending money.
- Isn't allowed to drive, go on courses or get a job.
- Has a noticeable change in self-esteem which might include being unable to make eye contact or looking away or at the ground when talking.