Some examples of a caring relationship:
- feeling safe
- being good friends
- freedom to do your own thing
- time and space to see your friends
- having your own interests
- listening to each other
- trusting each other
- respecting each other’s opinions
- being able to go at your own pace – including sexually
- being able to talk about it when you have an argument
- respecting the decision if either of you wants to end the relationship
This is not a caring relationship:
- getting angry when you talk to someone else
- being verbally aggressive or physically threatening (punching, pushing, slapping)
- posting unpleasant or intimately revealing things about you on the internet
- calling you names, putting you down, or making you feel bad
- using force, threats, emotional blackmail or bargains to make you do things you don’t want to do
- threatening to harm any of your family, friends, pets or property
- extreme jealousy
- being under pressure to have sex
- taking photographs of someone in a sexual situation when they do not wish to be photographed or are not aware of it
- sending those photos to other people or posting them on websites
The above points are classed as control and abuse.
Any type of relationship can turn into an abusive one, and it doesn't matter what age or gender you are. You might be going out with someone who makes you feel small around their friends, or an older relative might be causing you physical harm. These are only a couple of examples of abusive relationships.
If you're in an abusive relationship
If you're in an abusive relationship, it's important for you to talk to someone you trust like a friend or a relative. Some schools and colleges have on-site advisors that you can talk to, or you may prefer to tell a teacher. It's really important to remember that you're not alone.
It's also important to remember that you're not to blame for someone else's behaviour. You may think you've said something or done something wrong to upset them and caused them to become abusive. But whatever you feel you may have done, there is no excuse for constant insults and / or threats of violence.
Who to contact
If you are in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.
You can call ChildLine on 0800 1111. They'll be able to discuss your situation with you and help you work out what to do next. ChildLine is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The Response service is based in Wirral and can offer support and give you the information you need.
You'll find Response at:
19 Argyle Street, Birkenhead,
The phone number for Response is 0151 666 4123 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth workers can also offer advice and support. Find your nearest youth hub and see when it is open.
Health services for young people are available in Wirral schools (except for in South Wirral). Your school nurse will know about the clinics and the times they are running.
Worried about a friend?
If you're concerned that a friend may be in an abusive relationship, you may want to direct them to the support mentioned above.
It's important that you don't try to confront the person who is being abusive. By doing this you could be putting yourself in danger.