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Abuse in relationships can happen to anyone. It’s not normal, it’s never OK and definitely not part of a healthy relationship. It isn’t always physical, it can be emotional and sexual abuse too. If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, it’s possible you’re in an abusive relationship.
No. There’s never an excuse for relationship abuse. Anger, jealousy, alcohol or wanting to protect the other person – none of these are excuses.
An abusive relationship isn’t normal, it’s not OK, and if it’s happening to you, you’re not to blame for the abuse. It might feel like you’re alone, but you’re not – you deserve to be safe and help is available.
It is important to seek help, but if you’re experiencing abuse, you shouldn’t confront your abuser on your own. Instead speak to a trusted adult (family member, teacher, youth worker or the police) about what’s happening to you.
If someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you shouldn’t confront the abuser on your own either, but you can seek help on their behalf in a way that is safe for you and them.
You can speak to someone in confidence at any of these organisations about abuse in relationships and how to get help – whatever your sexuality or gender identity. You can also speak to the police.
If you, or someone you know, is ever in immediate danger, call 999.
If you’re a young man who’s experiencing abuse from your female partner then it may be especially hard for you to tell someone. Some people have told us they would feel less manly if someone knew they were being abused by a girl, or if their female partner threatened them with false allegations in order to keep them silent.
Talk to an adult you trust, it’s really important, or speak in confidence to helplines specifically for men.
If you’re lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning or intersex, you can speak to organisations with people who understand what you are going through. You can also contact the Galop National LGBTQi Domestic Abuse helpline run by trained advisors.
It can be really worrying when someone you care about is being hurt or abused by their partner. The more supported your friend feels, the easier it could be for them to deal with what’s happening. It’s hard to understand when you’re not in that situation, so listen, don’t be critical and don’t pressure them to do something they’re not ready to do.
If you recognise the signs of an abusive relationship, and you’re hurting the one you love, it can be tough facing up to this, but you can stop and change your behaviour. Call the Respect phoneline who are experts in talking to people who are abusing their partners.
Sometimes young people in gangs feel they don’t have choices and have to do what’s expected of them from other gang members, be it sexual or illegal.
If you’re in a gang and you’re being pressured or expected to engage in any activity you don’t want to do, seek help here or contact Childline to speak to a trained advisor who understands the pressures of being involved in a gang.
Available 24 hours