I think my friend is a victim of domestic abuse. Should I talk to her about it? | Ask Annalisa Barbieri

Standing by, or with, someone you think is being abused is very difficult. So tread with care, and make sure you look after yourself too

I am very worried about a friend of mine, who I believe is being emotionally (and perhaps financially) abused by her husband.

I have known her for many years. She has always had quite a self-deprecating style of humour, but since moving in with her now-husband, her comments have become very extreme and are no longer said in a humorous context. Lately, if I ask her for any sort of advice or suggestions (even on very unimportant matters), she will apologise for how stupid she is and call herself all sorts of awful names. Recently, when I met the couple for dinner, she used the wrong word for something, he corrected her quite sharply, and she very quickly apologised to a degree disproportionate to the “wrong” she had done.

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