Abuse in Teenage Relationships
Abuse in teenage relationships is more common that you might think. A recent Home Office survey showed that 25% of girls and 18% of boys had been hit or physically attacked by a partner.
Abusive relationships can include:
- Controlling behaviour - monitoring your phone calls, controlling what you wear, deciding who you should and shouldn’t see
- Emotional abuse - humiliating and putting you down in front of other people. Insulting you and making you question yourself
- Verbal abuse - yelling, shouting and threatening you
- Violent behaviour- hitting, pushing, kicking and slapping you
- Other form of abuse - including pressurising you into having sex
Abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone including men. If it’s happening to you it’s not you’re fault. No one has the right to bully, hurt you or make you feel small.
Some warning signs of potential violence and abusive behaviour are:
- Unreasonable jealousy
- Explosive anger including anger when you want to spend time with other people
- Isolating you from friends and family and demanding to know where you are all the time. Monitoring your calls and emails
- Trying to control your life (how you dress, who you hang out with and what you say)
- Humiliating you and making you feel small
- Being verbally abusive
- Threatening to harm you or to self harm if you leave them
- Excessive alcohol drinking and drug use
- Using force during an argument
- Threatening behaviour towards others
Abuse in relationships is not something that happens once. It’s a cycle, and usually gets worse if nothing is done to stop it. It can damage you physically and emotionally as well as leaving you feeling isolated and lonely.
Don’t confront your boyfriend or girlfriend as this could put you in harms way. Talk to someone you trust, such as family or friend, or your Youth Worker or School Counsellor.
There are also help lines you could call for advice, please see the contacts and weblinks under the tabs above.