Abuse is not normal and never ok.
If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. There are different forms of abuse, but if your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, it’s possible you’re in an abusive relationship.
If you have been abused, or fear you have, it can be hard to take the first step in seeking help – especially if you have tried to talk about the issue to friends, family or professionals and have not had a response that helped you.
Abuse in a relationship can destroy your self-confidence, have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing, and leave you feeling isolated and lonely.
Signs of abuse
A partner may:
- try to pressure you into having sex by saying “if you loved me you would”
- call you names or threaten to spread rumours about you
- try to control you by checking your phone
- try to force you to do things by hitting you
- get angry when you want to spend time with your friends
There are many organisations. Your local telephone directory, Citizens Advice Bureau or the NHS services finder may have more information on local organisations.
Support for all adults
Victim Support is a charity that provides support and information to people affected by crime, including rape and sexual abuse, as a victim or a witness. The website provides details of local support branches.
Support for adults abused in childhood
Support, advice and guidance for adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse – sexual, physical or emotional
Support for children
helpline: 0800 1111 (24 hours)
Confidential telephone counselling service for children about any issue.
For anyone who needs advice, help or information regarding a child’s welfare and for those who want to report concerns they have about a child or young person at risk of abuse.
Parents information service: 0808 802 5544
Information for both parents and young people, including podcasts on the website and useful publications.
Support for older people
Action on Elder Abuse
helpline (UK): 0808 808 8141
Helpline for anyone concerned in any way about the abuse of older people.
Support for people with learning difficulties
Respond provides a range of services to people with learning disabilities, including both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse. It also provides support and training for families, carers and professionals. Mental health professionals can refer people with learning difficulties who have experienced or perpetrated sexual abuse for face to face work.
Information and advice for people with a learning disability, families and carers