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

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 you you care about someone and want to do the right thing to help them.

That’s why, through the Your Best Friend project, we’ve been working with young people on the #FriendsCanTell campaign. You will see content across socials and on this page you'll find tips, trusted services who will support you when you need it, and a list of resources that you can share.
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'.

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.
Helping you help your friend

Where do you 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

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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...
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
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