One of the most supportive things you can say to someone is tell them that you’re there for them no matter what. You may need to accept that they don’t want to tell you about it all, but knowing that you haven’t forgotten about them or given up on them will be good for them to know.

They need to know that you’ll listen when they’re ready and that you won’t judge them, even if they decide to stay in that relationship. It takes on average 8 attempts before someone will leave an abusive relationship so it can be a long process. It is very hard for someone who is not living in a similar situation to understand why they do not leave.

Some reasons for staying in an abusive relationship are:

  • They are frightened of physical harm.
  • They believe they will be killed if they try to leave.
  • They may still care for or love their abuser.
  • They feel ashamed and/or believe it is their fault.
  • They are scared of what the future holds.
  • They are worried about money.
  • They are too exhausted to think.
  • They are isolated from family and friends.
  • They don’t know where to go.
  • They have low self-esteem.
  • They believe it is better to stay for the sake of any children.
  • They want to help the abuser to change.
  • They don’t think anyone else will ever care for them again.