Don’t panic – that helps no one at all!
Be prepared to believe what you hear.
Stick to skills such as listening, believing and empowering.
Don’t get caught up in the fear of the survivor.
Be calm, encouraging and confident.
Reassure survivors (if still involved) that they can get away.
Don’t isolate yourself from support for yourself.
Be clear, direct and honest. Say if you have problems in support.
Be aware of the possibility of multiplicity but don’t go looking for it.
Remember, getting out of abuse is a process not a single event.
Encourage survivors to sever links with the abusers.
Be aware that survivors may not have had a choice in abusing others.
Be aware of the wider picture when you hear part of a story.
This is the survivor’s story not yours. If you have feelings you are finding difficult – deal with them – get support for yourself.
Find out about other resources for the survivor and for you.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.