The your best friend logo shows two friends. One has their arm over the other's shoulder in support and the thought bubble says 'hashtag friends can tell'.
We know that it can be intimidating treading the fine line between opening a friend’s eyes and being worried about damaging your friendship. Self-doubt and fear are totally common when want to do the right thing to help someone you care about.

That's why we created the #FriendsCanTell campaign with young people so that you can find the tips, trusted support services, and resources you need.

You’ve seen something worrying in a friend’s relationship?
But now what?

Want to be part of the movement making this happen?

A text message is showing. The friend texts 'u coming out later'. Their friend replies 'Dunno can D come? Gets on my case when I go out on my own. Needs to know what I’m wearing, who I’m with, where I’m going :face_with_rolling_eyes:'. The first friend replies 'that sounds like fun to be honest...' and then we ask you to finish off the text
How would you finish the text?

We're crowdsourcing what people might say to their friends. You can send us your answer (use words or emojis) or post it on social media with the hashtag #FriendsCanTell
Where do you even start?!
If you’re worried about a friend, unless your friend brings it up, it might mean you reaching in and asking if they’re ok. How do you do this though?

To begin with, try and talk to them in private and never challenge the person who is hurting your friend.
Safelives ↗ has some tips on how to reach in to begin the conversation.

Once you both start talking, the conversation is likely to be sensitive. You can use our HEAR framework below to navigate this...(Of course, it’s also important that you both stay safe and if there is immediate danger, please call 999.)
Four steps to HEAR
your friend

Scroll through the gallery below and

see how you can HEAR a friend

Watch Opening Her Eyes, a film co-created with young people at PODS CIC, to raise awareness of red flags in relationships, and help empower young women, girls and non-binary people with the knowledge and confidence to help keep themselves and their friends safe.

Watch the #FriendsCanTell film that YANA co-created with young people. In this film, two friends see a glimpse of what their friend’s relationship is really like and try to reach in to let her know the way she’s being treated is not OK.

We know that it can be intimidating treading the fine line between opening a friend’s eyes and being worried about damaging your friendship. Self-doubt and fear are totally common when want to do the right thing to help someone you care about.

To help you work it out, we've put this together this guide. It shows you what options you have and what could happen in each scenario. We hope it helps you think through the best way to to help your friend in the way you know them
Illustration of young person throwing arm in air to show they're there to support a friend
But how do you step in?
Supporting a friend in a toxic relationship can be upsetting and it's important to look after yourself too. The steps you see above are simple to understand but sometimes they can be hard to do – it can take a lot of energy to stick around when a friend is in a difficult situation.

Women and Girls Network have put together these great resources ↗on self-care which can give you some ideas on how to look after yourself. It’s so important to do so. And remember, if you feel you can't support your friend, then that’s okay too. You can tell them what you think you can realistically do and suggest another source of source of care and support.

Illustration of young person with hands on their hips looking strong
Don't forget to look after yourself too
Who or where can you and your friend turn to for support?

Remember, if you need to, you can seek confidential support without revealing who your friend is.

Refuge's National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be called for free 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. (It is for those over 16 years of age.)

If you live in Wales and are 16+, you can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800) 24 hours a day 7 days a week, for free advice and support or to talk through your options.

Check out Women's Aid's trusted list of domestic abuse support services to help you find one that is best for you and your friend.

Bright Sky is here for anyone in an abusive relationship. Check out their directory of services to find local and national support for you or your friend.
Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.
The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people. Talk to them via their online community, on social, or through their free, confidential helpline or our counselling service.
Shout 85258 is the UK's first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service. It's a place to go if you're struggling to cope and need mental health support.

Muslim Youth Helpline is a national helpline in the UK providing free and confidential faith and culturally sensitive support services.

Their helpline is for LGBT+ people who have or are experiencing domestic abuse or for people supporting a survivor of domestic abuse; friends, families and those working with a survivor.
Refuge's interactive tool is designed to provide awareness and understanding of the various digital platforms a partner might have access to, whether it’s social media accounts, online banking, or live location through apps such as Uber and Strava. The tool provides women with the necessary knowledge to help them secure these digital platforms against potential tech abuse from a partner or ex-partner.
Call the police on 999 if there’s an emergency. If your friend doesn't want to report things to the police and it's not an emergency, the domestic abuse services above can give information and support on that.

Use the #FriendsCanTell content

We've made all our content with young people and we want you to take it, use it, and get it front of more young people

Have you seen the #FriendsCanTell content or used the resources on this page?

Your feedback is crucial to us improving our resources so that more friends can help their friends. Would you mind taking a couple of minutes to answer some questions, please? Let us know if our resources have helped in improving your understanding of toxic relationships and if they've made you feel more confident about talking to a friend.
An illustration of two friends supporting each other. One has her hand on the other's shoulder, and her other arm is raised in solidarity. The friend they are supporting has their hands on their hip in defiance.
Join us on this mission...
If you want to help us spread the word, you can download our resources and campaign pack above, and use them in any way you want. You can also join our movement below - we'll send you helpful information to help your friend, and quick tasks that you can do to get this information out to wherever girls, young women and non-binary people they spend their time (online or offline).
Illustration showing calming patterns
We will only use your email to get in touch with you with news and updates. By subscribing to our mailing list you agree to our privacy policy.
Every time we typed something in this guidance, or found another link to add, or posted on Instagram, we were thinking of you and how much we wanted to help you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, even if we don’t know you by name – you aren’t in this alone.
Illustration of young person throwing arm in air to show they're there to support a friend
And please know, before you go...
We want to thank the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - the 'Your Best Friend' project would not be possible without substantial funding from the Tampon Tax Fund.
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