Domestic abuse is when someone is physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a person they are in a relationship with. Women get domestic abuse more than men but men can be abused too. It can happen in male/female relationships and same sex relationships, Domestic abuse could be:
- Physical – such as hitting, kicking or punching
- Emotional – telling someone they are useless or ugly, all of the time
- Sexual – forcing someone to perform sexual acts or look at pornography,
- Controlling - stopping someone from living their live how they want to, locking them in
- Threats - to kill or hurt. Young people can get domestic abuse at home – they might hear or see things happening between adults that makes them scared or upset.
Young people may also find themselves in an abusive relationship. Teenage relationship abuse can include things like:
- Stopping you seeing your friends
- Checking your phone
- Criticizing what you wear
- Calling you names like slag or tart
- Hitting or punching
- Forcing you to have sex
If you or a person you know is in an abusive relationship, it can be hard to tell someone what is going on. You might hope the abuse will stop on its own, or be frightened for yourself and your family if anyone finds out. You might worry that you'd be on your own if you told, or that it will make things worse. You might also feel guilty or responsible for what is happening to you.
Domestic abuse is never your fault, and the abuse needs to stop.
Support is available for young people that are getting domestic abuse at home or abuse in their own relationship. Both the police and social services take abuse seriously, and they will make sure that you and your family members are safe.
If you aren't ready to report abuse, then try to find someone to talk to – this could be a friend or other family member or it could be someone at school or youth club. You can also email or telephone someone from the contacts that are listed, and you won't have to give your name.
For more information click on the "Other sites" and "Contacts" tabs below
Worried about someone?
If you are worried about someone, tell them what's worrying you. If you think they may be getting into trouble, be prepared to listen and let them know you'll be there for them.
You could be worried that someone has been harmed, may be pregnant, taking drugs or having family problems. Don't try to handle serious problems by yourself. There are clinics, telephone and email advice lines that give professional advice and help. Many of these services are confidential and you won't have to give them your name.
Check out some of the featured links on the right for people who can help.
If you are worried about someone who is getting abuse at home or in their relationship there are some things you can do to help:
- Tell them you are there for them when they are ready to talk
- Listen to what they say and always believe them
- Don’t say bad things about their boyfriend/girlfriend or tell them to dump them – they need to make a choice on their own
- Tell them they are not to blame for what is happening
- If your friend has stopped seeing you because of an abusive relationship, make sure they know you are still there for them if they need you
- Offer to go with them to talk to an adult you can trust
- If your friend has been hurt you need to tell someone to help keep them safe
- If you are worried about a friend you should try to find an adult you trust to talk to about your concerns – ‘you won’t be getting them in trouble’
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