Q:

How a caring friend can help

I had a friend visit me today. She tells me things her husband says, which I consider mental abuse. Constant put downs, swears at her, has no time and does nothing for her and her four sons. 

She cried today and says she often feels like killing herself. What can we do to help her? 


A:

Thank you for writing in.  I would like to suggest that you spend as much time as possible with your friend and reassure her that none of what is happening to her is her fault. It’s also important that she knows she does have options about her future and the future of her relationship. There are many very good support services available to women like your friend who are being abused. What I would also like to suggest is that your friend considers seeing a professional counsellor who can help her through this difficult time. It is very serious that she wants to kill herself so she definitely needs support. They will be able to talk with her and help her and advise her of the services that they can provide her with and what other services are available to her through other agencies. I think because of the way she is feeling and what she feels like doing it is very important and necessary for her to make contact and see someone as soon as possible. Contact details can be got by ringing our 0800 456 450 number. She then rings them, shares what is happening for her and they will take it from there by making an appointment for her to see someone.

If your friend wants to get away with her sons please let her know that she can ring the Women’s Refuge at any time, day or night and go there. It will be a safe place for her and the children and the people who work there will help in every way they can. They will tap into supports within the community so meet any needs she has. Once she decides what she wants to do they will then be able to support her with that. Contact details for the refuge in her local area can also be got from our 0800 456 450.

Maybe you could suggest these things to her and see how she feels about them. If she wants to know more please write back in and I’ll help the best I can with any information or suggestions or advise that may help.

Lastly I would like to say, thank you for being such a good and caring friend. Please, if you can, stay in touch with her, stay as close as you can, speak into her in a positive way and remind her of all the things she is doing so well with, and again remind her that none of this is her fault and that there is help out there.

I wish you all the very best.

Jude

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