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.

Time to step in?

The your best friend logo shows two friends with fists in the air
Taking the first steps
You've seen a red flag in your friend's relationship.
What do you want to do?
Taking the next step
You've asked your friend about their relationship in a kind and supportive way. What happens next?
Thinking about the long term
You've tried to support your friend for a while.
What happens next?
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.