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Could you recognise the signs of abuse?

If a family member, friend or colleague was being abused, would you recognise it and be able to help them?

While not an exhaustive list, and one sign does not necessarily mean abuse is taking place, if your friend, family member or colleague are displaying one or multiple of the below behaviours, it may be an idea to raise your concerns with them and see if they are ok.

Some signs to look out for are:

  • Have they lost their self-confidence or seem depressed or anxious?
  • Have they stopped being sociable?
  • Have you lost touch with them or don’t see them anymore?
  • Do they make excuses not see you, or other friends?
  • Do they regularly miss work, college or school?
  • Do they make regularly cancel social occasions at the last minute?
  • Do they have access to money or transport?
  • Are they drinking more?
  • Do they get picked up and dropped off everywhere?
  • Do they receive lots of phone calls and text messages checking where they are and when they’ll be home?
  • Do they have any physical signs of abuse like bruises, scratches or cuts?

If you have any suspicion that abuse is happening to your friend, family member or colleague, what should you do?

Talk to them, raise your concerns and check they are OK

  • Listen to them
  • Believe them
  • Find out where they can go to get help – report the incidents to the police, or if they don’t want to speak to the police, other support agencies
  • Support them and reassure them that reporting it is the right thing to do
  • Learn about Clare’s Law and consider contacting the police about your right to ask


Help is available 

To report abuse to North Yorkshire Police, dial 101. In the case of an emergency always dial 999

Other agencies who are able to offer advice and support are:

IDAS – www.idas.org.uk

Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire – www.supportingvictims.org

Mankind – www.mankind.org.uk

Karma Nirvana – www.karmanirvana.org.uk