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Domestic abuse awareness and information

Domestic abuse awareness for young people

Advice on how to cover your tracks online Women's Aid website.

In emergencies dial 999


On 19 September 2012, following a public consultation, the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the government would be extending the definition of domestic violence so that young people aged 16 and 17 would be included. The change is being introduced to increase awareness that young people from this age group do experience domestic violence and abuse. The new definition was implemented on 31 March 2013. Whilst this is not a legislative change, the definition will send a clear message to victims about what does constitute domestic violence and abuse.


Is this love?

One persons dominates and controls the other.
For example:

  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend gets angry when you talk to someone else
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend is verbally aggressive or physically threatening
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend calls you names, puts you down, makes you feel bad
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend uses force, threats, emotional blackmail or bargains to make you do things you don’t want to do
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend threatens to harm any of your friends, family, pets or property
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend posts unpleasant or intimately revealing things about you on the internet

This is control and this is abuse.


Jealousy and isolation is when

  • Someone cuts you off from your friends
  • Gets angry when you talk to other people

Aggression is when

  • Someone yells and shouts at you
  • Uses physical violence
  • Gets in to fights with other people
  • Uses violence to solve problems

Put downs are when 

  • Someone makes you feel stupid
  • Calls you names
  • Makes nasty comments
  • Generally puts you down

Control is when

  • Someone checks on you all the time
  • Where you are
  • Where you have been
  • Who you are with
  • Threatens or forces you to do things you don’t want them to do
  • Doesn’t let you make your own decisions

Sexual abuse is when

  • Someone does sexual things to that you don’t agree to

If any of these things are happening to you, you may be in an abusive relationship

Relationship abuse is not a one-off event. It’s a cycle and it usually gets worse if nothing is done to stop it.

It’s not your fault. 


Types of abuse are:

  • Name calling threats
  • Humiliation
  • Blame
  • Insults
  • Put downs
  • Isolation from friends/family
  • Ridicule
  • Intimidation
  • Being ignored
  • Control
  • Pressure
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Putting a person in danger
  • Pushing
  • Slapping
  • Hitting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Hair pulling
  • Choking
  • Burning
  • Using a weapon or other object to harm
  • Pressuring someone in to having sex (this could include touching, kissing, fondling, oral sex or penetration)
  • Taking photos of someone in a sexual situation when they don’t want to be photographed or are not aware of it (including on a mobile phone)
  • Sending those photos to other people or posting them on websites
  • Forcing someone to look at pornography
  • Offering someone to another person for sex

Abusers are responsible for their behaviour. If you are in an abusive relationship, the best thing for you to do is end it.

This may be tough and you may need help:

  • Find support from people who care about you
  • Contact one of the support organisations listed in 'where to go for help'
  • Carry a mobile phone or phone card and phone numbers of people or organisations who can offer support

Two people feel good about themselves and each other.

Good relationships include things like:

  • Being good friends
  • Freedom to do your own thing
  • Time and space to see your friends
  • Having your own interests
  • Knowing your opinions are respected
  • Listening to each other
  • Having fun together
  • Trusting each other
  • Being able to disagree with each other
  • Being able to go at your own pace - including sexually
  • Making decisions together
  • Being able to talk about it when you have an argument
  • Feeling safe
  • Respecting the decision if either of you want to end the relationship

Everyone deserves respect and there are no excuses for abuse. Physical assault is a crime so be true to yourself and remember, someone who loves you cares about you.


Where to go for help

Always call 999 if you are in immediate danger

  • Tel: 0808 2000 247

Free and confidential 24hr helpline run by Women's Aid and Refuge.
This helpline will take calls from children & young people


Free and confidential 24hr helpline for children and young people anywhere in the UK


Free and confidential 24hr helpline

  • Web: www.splitz.org
  • Tel: 01225 775276 – Monday - Friday office hours (out of hours available through Swindon Women's Aid).

Splitz is an independent charity established in 1989.
We mend lives. We work free of charge with victims, children and perpetrators of domestic abuse. We work to encourage healthy relationships.
We do this by offering one-to-one support:

  • For adult victims of abuse (Paloma Project)
  • Support services for young people who have witnessed abuse (Young People’s Support Service)
  • A scheme offering befriending and emotional support (Buddy Scheme)
  • A voluntary programme for male perpetrators of domestic abuse to help change their harmful behaviour (Turnaround Programme)

Relate Mid Wiltshire, 2 Prospect Place, Trowbridge. BA14 8QA

Relate Mid Wiltshire offers a counselling service for young people aged 7-19 years who are experiencing emotional distress including those who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse.
The aim is to improve self-esteem, resilience and their ability to cope.


Support helpline available to all Wiltshire residents - 5.00pm-9.00am every day including bank holidays.

Tel: 01793 610610


If you are abusing someone, you need help

If you want to change your behaviour, you can – with help. To talk to someone who can help:

  • Phone Respect on 0808 802 4040
  • Visit the Respect website for more information

Respect offers information and advice to people who behave in abusive ways, as well as those who are victims of abuse. Nothing is so bad you can’t talk about it.

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Last updated: 10 July 2020 | Last reviewed: 10 July 2020