Young People and Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any age including young women and teenagers. Abuse in teenage relationships is the same as in older relationships – it’s about power and control. A relationship can be abusive whether you have known the person for 2 weeks or 2 years, whether you live together or just see each other now and again. Every relationship is different and at times there will be rough patches with arguments and fall outs. Your relationship is abusive if there is a pattern of behavior that means your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend gets their way all the time.
Abuse in a relationship isn’t always physical, it can be emotional and sexual too. If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, fearful or controlled then it’s possible its abusive. If you are just starting to have relationships it can be hard to know what is ok and what isn’t. Your partner may tell you that they are doing what they do because they love you and care for you and they expect you to behave in certain ways to show that you love and care for them.
Their behaviour can leave you feeling confused as it doesn’t match what they are saying and it can be difficult to say what is making you feel uneasy about what they are doing as they are telling you it’s because they care for you.
Love is never an excuse for:
- Stopping you doing the things you want to do
- Not letting you have time to be on your own or with your friends
- Calling you names
- Making you feel bad about yourself
- Wanting to know where you are all the time and what you are doing
- Turning up places where you are
- Pressurizing or forcing you to do things you aren’t comfortable with
The thing no one ever says about relationships is that they are difficult. None of us ever agrees about everything (despite what we see in the movies and read in books).
How you sort things out when you don’t agree can tell us a lot about our relationship/friendship, if you are scared to say what you think or to voice how you are feeling then this could mean your partner is abusive.
Abuse in a relationship is never ok, 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 help is available, you deserve to be safe and respected.
If you are worried about your relationship then it could help to:
- Talk to a friend or someone you trust about how you’re feeling
- Contact a women’s aid group in your area
- If you are in immediate danger call 999