Domestic abuse affects young people in their own relationships or if they grown up with violence and abuse within their families.
Everyone deserves to have a healthy relationship that is based on respect, love, trust, good communication, loyalty, fun and equality. When you are in a relationship like this you both feel loved, safe, happy, confident and special – it is important that you and your partner take an equal part in making the relationship a happy and healthy one.
If you are in a relationship that makes you feel scared or pressurised into doing things that don’t feel right for you, then your relationship may be abusive.
Abusive behaviour may include some or all of the following:
Emotional: Actions that effect the way you think or feel – laughs at you, humiliates you in front of others, puts you down, calls you names, frightens you and checks up on you.
Physical: Actions that hurt the outside of your body – slap, kick, punch, rough play fighting, pushing.
Sexual: Actions that effect you intimately – being forced or pressurised into sex or sexual behaviour that you feel uncomfortable with.
Financial: Actions that effect money or finances – taking your money, making you pay for everything, stealing from you, not letting have access to your own money.
An abusive relationship may start off feeling as though it is healthy, but there are warning signs that things might change:
- You sometimes feel scared about how your partner will react
- You feel bad about yourself because of your partners put downs
- You see less and less of your friends
- You don’t express you opinions because you are made to feel small
- You are constantly contacted by mobile, Facebook etc. checking on who you are with or what you are doing
- You are made to feel bad because of your partners jealousy
- You don’t have an equal say when a decision is made
If you feel worried about your relationship, talk to a trusted adult or contact a helpline such as Childline (0800 1111) or the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247).
See helplines for additional support services.