Why is getting support so important? There are many reasons:

So, what exactly is this support? In many ways support means people. But not just any people. These are people with very particular qualities, who:

Basically, you need a Support Team to help you on the life raft. They may be found in your immediate social circle, (partner/family/friends), from professional helpers, (therapists / counsellors / other professionals / voluntary organisations), or from other Survivors. Members of your Support Team don't have to be highly qualified. Nor do they always do 'professional' things.

For instance a supportive person might:

It's worth going through the people you are involved with, whether personally or professionally, and deciding whether you think they have the qualities mentioned above. If they don't then they may not be the most supportive people to have around if you're going through a crisis.

In choosing your Support Team here are some issues to consider:


If you're in a serious relationship you may need to weigh up how supportive your partner is.

Clearly an understanding partner could provide vital support in a crisis. Does she or he have the qualities mentioned above?

Have you told them about the abuse and what you're going through? Did they react with understanding and support? If you haven't told them yet how do you think they would react if you did? How have they reacted when you've shared personal things in the past?

If you've told your partner already and they are supportive you could consider the following options:

If you haven't told your partner yet but you think they have the qualities to make a good supporter -

If you've told your partner and they are not supportive ; or, if you do not think they have the qualities that would make a good supporter, you have some difficult decisions to make. Some options are:

There may be times when your partner is not only not supportive but engages in the following behaviours:

If this is the case then please try to get away from this relationship. It will be like having someone on your life raft whose trying to push you in the river. No-one deserves to be abused either as a child or an adult. Men are not usually seen as being on the receiving end of abusive relationships. There are rarely safe refuges provided for them. Society expects men to just, 'grin and bear it.' But if these things are happening to you then it's not safe and you'll find it difficult to recover. Leaving relationships is not easy even 'bad' ones. Here's some ideas that might help:

If you do live together consider all the above, and in addition,

=> consult a solicitor about any legal issues regarding the property. (See telephone numbers in 'Resources for Recovery' section)

=> if you haven't got somewhere to stay consider seeking priority rehousing from the local authority. This may seem drastic, but it's sometimes needed in order to find a way to safety. You need to consult a solicitor and Sheffield's Housing Aid centre for more advice. (See 'Resources for Recovery.')

Remember that you can never rely on the hope that your partner will change if he/she is abusive. They may promise to. But your safety can only be assured by actions you take yourself. You can take advice and consult with those you trust. Being safe is necessary if you're to get through the crisis, and move towards recovery. Abuse has no place on the life raft for recovery.

If you're in an abusive relationship, but it just feels impossible to get out then :

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