Advice Column: Talk About Abuse

Thursday 15 December 2016

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo advice column this week we focus on our Talk About Abuse campaign.

 I’ve heard about your Talk about Abuse campaign. What is it and how can I support the campaign?

Talk about Abuse is a campaign to encourage people to look for signs of domestic abuse among their friends and family, to talk about it, listen and support, and suggest further help.

Last year, one in fifteen women and one in every 33 men experienced domestic abuse at the hands of their partner or former partner.  A quarter of women and just over a tenth of men have experienced this kind of abuse at some point in their adult lives. Around a third of those who are victimised, experienced ‘severe force’, and for some this is an almost continuous feature of their lives: three per cent of victims experienced abuse in the previous year “more than 50 times or too many times to count”.

Specialists – in the form of refuges, legal professionals and police, and helplines or support services – play a critical role for many victims. However, many victims don’t engage with these groups; our Talk About Abuse campaign aims to address this.

Our Talk About Abuse campaign focuses on informal networks of friends, family, neighbours or colleagues. Friends and family may be able to support victims where others might not be able to. We want to enable friends and family to recognise abuse, to talk about it safely and enable victims to make the right decisions for themselves.

While it is a difficult and delicate, we know that proactively talking about whether somebody is experiencing abuse – rather than waiting for them to broach the subject – makes it easier for victims to disclose. The campaign is about communicating a clear message to encourage and guide friends and family to look for signs of domestic abuse, and to talk about it.

For more details about the campaign go to the Campaigns Section of our national website –

Look out for our column next week when we focus on pension freedoms. 

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit