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Safety and Wellbeing

Take a look at some of our suggestions for keeping safe and taking care of yourself, and the person you're worried about.

Keeping Safe Together 

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Let the person you're worried about create their own boundaries of what they think is safe and what is not safe; don’t urge them to follow any strategies that they express doubt about. ​​Remember: they are the experts in their own experience. 

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Look after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time. Don't put yourself into a dangerous situation, and be realistic about what you can and can't help with.

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Consider creating a safety plan with the person you are worried about, at their discretion. For further advice and support of how to achieve this visit: Women's Aid: Making a Safety Plan

Keeping safe together
My Safety and Wellbeing

Your Safety

Make sure that you don't put yourself in a dangerous situation. For example, do not offer to talk to the abuser about the situation or their behaviour.

Try not to be seen as a threat to the relationship by the abuser, this increases the risk of the victim being isolated from you, but also puts your own safety at risk. Avoid challenging or confronting the abuser.

​Remember that the person you're worried about might have their social media, phone, and emails monitored, think about what is safe to send. Consider deciding with the person you're supporting on pre-arranged times and dates when it is safe to contact. Let them decide which contact methods are safe to use.

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Your Wellbeing

Supporting someone else can be challenging and upsetting. Making sure that you look after your own wellbeing can mean that you have the energy, time and distance to help someone else. 

Set boundaries and be realistic about what you can do. Remember that small, simple things can help, and that just being there for them is really important. Healthy boundaries are good for our own wellbeing and they also help us support others better too.

Boundaries are also important because abusers will frequently try and push or ignore the boundaries others have set, and the person you’re worried about might not feel they have the right to set boundaries in the first place.

 

Take a break when you need it. If you're feeling overwhelmed by supporting someone or it's taking up a lot of time or energy, taking some time for yourself can help you feel refreshed. 

Talk to someone you trust about how you're feeling. You need to be careful about how much information you share about the person you're supporting, but talking about your own feelings to a friend can help you feel supported too. You can also talk to us, anonymously, over our phoneline.

Self-care Tips

Talk to someone:

Activities:

  • Watch TV

  • Read a novel or self help book

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal

  • Play a video game, instrument or board game

  • Take your dog for a walk

Be well rested:

  • Regular sleep hours: Getting to bed and getting up at the same time can help teach your body to sleep better.

  • Natural sunlight: Exposure to natural light during the day, as well as darkness at night, helps to maintain good sleep.

  • Remove distractions: Try to limit how much you are scrolling on your phone or looking at social media just before bed, as this can wake you up and make you more alert.

Exercise:

  • Get outside for some fresh air

  • Work out to music

  • Go to the gym

  • Work out with a friend

  • Go for a walk, run or jog

Calming Technique:

  • If anxiety sets in, take a moment to breathe

  • Try the four - seven - eight technique:

    • Take a deep breath through your nose and count to four

    • Hold your breath in for seven seconds

    • Breathe out through your nose to a count of eight

    • Repeat this a few times until you feel calmer.

Manage your time:

  • Take a hot shower or a bubble bath

  • Have an early night

  • Have a hot drink/cup of tea

  • Listen to music

  • Read a book

  • Walk with family or friends

Please note: The information in this section has been adapted from information from: Shout: Little Book of Coping Skills 

Looking After Myself

Useful Resources & Safety Tools

Below are some resources and tools the person you're worried about might find useful, which you could share with them or look at together, if that's what they want.

The Hollie Guard app: a personal safety app which can also record evidence.

The Bright Sky app: an app with a directory of domestic abuse services and a journal to document evidence.

Paladin advice on stalking: advice on stalking, how to report, safety plan and an incident template for documenting.

Women's Aid: preparing to leave: advice on preparing to leave safely in a planned way.

Nia: staying safe: advice on staying safe in the relationship, when preparing to leave and when the relationship has ended.

Useful resources & safety tools
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