The Law On Abusive Relationships

If you are 16 or over and have suffered one or more incidents of controlling or threatening behaviour or assault by a boy/girlfriend or a family member, you are a victim of domestic violence.

Threatening or controlling behaviour can be physical, sexual or emotional.

Controlling behaviour is when someone cuts you off from friends and family or makes you reliant on them by taking away your independence. You have none of the freedoms everyone else takes for granted, such as talking to friends, using your phone or wearing what you want, for example.

Abuse is against the law. For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend hits you, it’s assault. If they force you to carry out sexual acts or force you into sex, this is sexual abuse or rape. Being threatened or harassed by them is just as much a crime as violence from a stranger. If this is happening to you, speak to a trusted adult or the police or get help from the professionals at one of the many helplines available, they’re listed on this website.

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