Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour. It can include several different types of abusive behaviour, and may get worse the longer the two people are together. People use domestic abuse to control other people. If you are a young person in an abusive relationship yourself, remember that you are not to blame.
Young people may also experience abuse from their own boyfriend or girlfriend.
What can I do?
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 called the The Hide Out with message boards and other useful information.
What are the signs?
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?
Is it Happening to me?
Go through the ‘what’s my relationship like’ quiz and have a think about the statements. You can reflect on whether you think domestic abuse might be happening in your own relationship
If your boyfriend or girlfriend is abusive they may use excuses to justify their behavior. This might make you start wondering whether your concerns about your relationship and your boyfriend / girlfriend are valid.
Have you heard these excuses before?
- “It’s not abuse, it’s coz I love you.”
- “I was having a bad day.”
- “It’s normal to be jealous, it just means I love you.”
- “It’s your fault, you upset me” or “You made me angry.” “You deserved it.”
- “It only happened once. It won’t happen again.”
- “I was drunk” or “I was high on drugs.”
- “It’s not my fault, I’m messed up.”
- “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Any of these sound familiar?
These can be signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. There is no excuse for abuse. You don’t deserve it and it is never your fault. It is not about love but about control.
What can I do?
Remember, domestic abuse isn’t your fault. You’re not to blame. Here are some things you can do to get help and keep yourself safe.
- learn about what domestic abuse is
- make a safety plan to keep yourself safe
- share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust
- surf websites about domestic abuse
- Find out what support is available in your area
- But most of all, you can talk to someone about it
Further sources of help and advice
Please note that we cannot accept responsibility for the content of any external sites. This information is for signposting only.
Child Line – 0800 1111 – This is a 24-hour telephone helpline for children and young people. Calls are confidential, and are free from mobiles. Calls don’t show up on phone bills. 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. www.respect4us.co.uk
The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) is a registered charity which provides pioneering faith and culturally sensitive services to Muslim youth in the UK. It is a free and confidential emotional support service available nationally via the telephone, email, internet and through the post. The service uses male and female volunteers trained in active listening skills to respond to client enquiries. http://www.myh.org.uk