What Is An Abusive Relationship?

holding_handsAbuse is not normal, it is never ok and you don’t have to put up with it. If you’re in a relationship with someone you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. There are lots of different types of abuse, but if your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, you could be in an abusive relationship.

Some people think abuse only happens in adult relationships, but it can happen at any age – it can happen to girls and boys in heterosexual or same sex relationships. It can destroy your self-confidence, cause anxiety or depression, stop you doing well at school or college and leave you feeling isolated and lonely.

You might not even realise you’re in an abusive relationship, but there are signs to look out for. If your boyfriend or girlfriend tries to pressure you into having sex by saying “if you loved me you would”… this is abuse. If they call you names or threaten to spread rumours about you… this is abuse. If they force you to do things by hitting you or try to control you by checking your phone… this is abuse. There is always help out there and you must get help straight away if you think you’re being abused. Keep an eye on your friends too, if you think they could be being abused, talk to them about it and get help.

What if you are being abusive? You might not even realise you’ve done it, but if you recognise the signs now you can stop yourself turning into someone you don’t want to be. Do you get jealous or angry when your boyfriend or girlfriend spends time with their friends? Do you try and control them or call them hurtful names? Do you hit them? Do you want to stop yourself? There is help out there, talk to a parent, teacher or relative and change your behaviour now.

If you are worried about your relationship and think you could be being abused, remember it is never your fault and there is help and support for you. Talk to your friends, family and trusted adults about what is happening to you. Professionals know that violence and abuse in relationships is wrong and will know how to help and access support safely. If you are worried about a friend, even if they ask you not to tell anyone, it is ok to tell an adult if you are worried about their safety.

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