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Abusive relationships

Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships don’t just happen to adults.  Young people can experience abusive behaviour from their boyfriend or girlfriend, in mixed sex or same sex relationships.

Abusive behaviour can be:
* violent (hitting, kicking, slapping)
* emotional (humiliating you or putting you down)
* sexual (forcing you to do sexual acts you don’t want to do)

Abusive relationships can start with verbal or emotional abuse and could happen to anyone. It can often escalate into physical abuse, by which time your self-esteem is likely to be damaged.

Some warning signs of potential violence and abusive behaviour are:
* extreme jealousy
* angry when you want to spend time with your friends
* isolating you from friends and family
* trying to control your life – how you dress, who you hang out with and what you say
* humiliating you or putting you down
* threatening to harm you or to harm themselves if you leave them
* demanding to know where you are all the time
* monitoring your calls and emails, threatening you if you don’t respond immediately
* excessive drinking of alcohol or drug use
* explosive anger
* using force during an argument
* blaming others for his / her problems or feelings
* being verbally abusive
* threatening behaviour towards others
* pressuring you to send them sexual texts or images of yourself

(content taken from the This is Abuse logoThis is Abuse website)


Resources and Useful Websites: 

Broken Rainbow logo

Broken Rainbow provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experiencing domestic abuse. It also runs a helpline for anyone experiencing homophobic, transphobic or abuse within a same sex relationship. Please call 0800 999 5428

Brook logo

Brook works to enable young people to enjoy their sexuality without harm, by providing free and confidential sexual health services for young people under the age of 25.

The Hideout is aimed at young people up to to age of 21. You can find information on relationship abuse and advice on how to get help.

Rape crisis logo

Rape Crisis offers a range of services for women and girls who may have been raped or who have experienced another form of sexual violence. Please click on the link for more information, advice or to find your nearest Rape Crisis Centre. Alternatively, to contact the National Sexual Violence Helpline, please call 0808 802 9999


Respect phoneline: For any young person who recognises that they are abusive within their relationship, help and support can be found on the website, or by calling 0808 802 4040

thin-u-know logo

Thinkuknow offers advice to young people on sex, relationships and the internet. It also provides up-to-date information to help young people develop the skills they need to make sure they stay safe and are happy in the decisions they are making.



childline plus number

ChildLine is the free, 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.

Children and young people can call our helpline on 0800 1111 about any problem, at any time - day or night.

You can contact ChildLine about anything - no problem is too big or too small. If you are feeling scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone you can contact ChildLine.

Website: http://www.childline.org.uk/

Barnardos logo

Advice for parents, professionals and young people on the signs of sexual exploitation and how to keep safe.

Barnardo’s has published the set of advice leaflets, available to download for parents, professionals and young people across the UK.

Sexual exploitation affects thousands of children and young people every year. We can all play an important role in reducing that number, helping to cut children free from this abuse.

Website: http://www.barnardos.org.uk/index.htm


The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) is the UK's leading charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.

Website: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/our-services/nspcc-helpline-childline/

thin-u-know logo

Thinkuknow.co.uk is a website designed to raise awareness of the dangers of the Internet. Website is http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

Action for Children logo

Action for Children supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK including. We offer help and support for disabled children, young people, children in care and family support.

Website: http://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/

childhood bereavement

The Childhood Bereavement Network is a national, multi-professional federation of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people. We believe that all children have the right to information, guidance and support to enable them to manage the impact of death on their lives.

Website: http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/


The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a UK charity providing children's rights and socio-legal services. They offer information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and young people up to the age of 25, through a network of advocates throughout England and Wales.

Website: https://www.nyas.net/




Updates to National documents

Working Together to Safeguard Children updated July 2018 - click here for updated version

Information Sharing - Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers updated July 2018 - updated version here