Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone at any time, you don’t have to be married or living with someone to experience it. The law says domestic violence and abuse happens to people who are in an intimate or family type relationship. It can happen between people who are going out together, living together, have children together or are married to each other. Sometimes when a relationship ends the domestic violence or abuse can continue.
Some young people may not experience it directly but they may see or hear it at home. Domestic violence and abuse can be physical violence, such as hitting, punching, slapping or kicking. It can be sexual, when one person makes another carry out sexual activities against their will this can include taking photos or making videos on mobile phones, or it can be emotional, name calling, telling someone they are useless, threatening to hurt other people they care about or their pets; or stopping them from seeing friends or their family. The abuse can also be financial, where one person withholds money from another person or takes all their money away.
Although domestic violence and abuse happens mostly between partners or family members who are over 16 years old, it can affect younger people living with them. Sometimes young people can get involved and they can be hurt if they try to stop the argument or fight between the adults. Young people may also experience abuse from their own boyfriend or girlfriend.
Domestic violence and abuse is a form of bullying and it is wrong. No one should have to put up with it. If you are witnessing it at home it can be very upsetting and can make you feel scared and alone. You aren’t alone. There are many families just like yours, which have domestic violence and abuse going on. Remember you are not to blame and you can get help. It’s good to talk to someone that you trust about what’s going on at home and how you feel.
This can be someone like a teacher, doctor, neighbour or family friend. Or you can talk to other young people who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse at home on the national women’s aid website. There is a dedicated place called ‘the hide out’ on the site which is for young people. www.womensaid.org
Or you call us on 01793 610610 at any time to talk.
If you are a young person in an abusive relationship yourself, remember that you are not to blame. If you think you might be in abusive relationship but are not completely sure, there are some signs which might help you decide. Does, your boyfriend or girlfriend:-
Check your mobile phone and read your text messages?
Tell you not to see or spend time with your friends or argue with you when you do?
Criticise what you wear, how you look, and what you say, when you are alone and in front of other people?
Do they lose their temper often and scare you sometimes, do you try and avoid saying or doing something that will make them angry?
Are they jealous when you speak to other people and accuse you of flirting or cheating?
These aren’t the only signs that indicate you are in an abusive relationship, because every relationship is different - but if you see some of these signs in your relationship, it is not a healthy relationship.
For further information on abusive relationships amongst young people or if you want to talk to someone confidentiality about your situation please call our dedicated Children & Young People’s Service on 01793 864984 or call our confidential out of hours Helpline on 01793 610610. Or email us via the contact us page of this website.
Alternatively, the National Women’s Aid website has ‘the Hideout’ area on its website: www.womensaid.org. The hide out is a dedicated area for children and young people in abusive relationships or witnessing violence and abuse at home. It has advice, information and message boards.
Below is a list of other helpline numbers or websites where you can get information or talk to someone confidentially. Remember in an emergency; always ring the police on 999
Child Line - 0800 1111 - This is a 24-hour telephone helpline for children and young people. Calls are confidential, and are free even from mobiles. Calls don’t show up on phone bills. Their website is: www.childline.org.uk.
The respect website is for young people to get information, raise issues and discuss domestic violence and abuse, sexual bullying or sexual discrimination. Their website is: www.respect.uk.net