Any relationship you have should be good and happy. A bad relationship might make someone feel scared, confused, worried and even unsafe. It’s really important that you know the difference between a good relationship and a bad relationship.
• You are comfortable around that person.
• You can be honest with that person.
• You can say how you feel, what you are thinking and you listen to each other.
• You support each other and treat each other nicely.
• You feel safe.
• You trust that person.
• You are equal – you don’t boss each other around or tell each other what to do.
• You feel looked after.
• The person might push you, hit you or destroy your things.
• The person might tell you what to do, what to wear or who you can see and spend time with.
• You might feel scared – they might say they will hurt you if you don’t do something.
• The person calls you names, makes you feel bad in front of other people and makes you feel bad about yourself.
• The person gets angry easily and you don’t know what will make them angry – it might make you feel nervous.
• The person might pressure you to do things you don’t want to or aren’t ready for, like sex, or using drugs and alcohol.
• The person might not take no for an answer when you say you don’t want to do something.
• The person may manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do.
It might be hard for you to know if you are being abused and you might not really understand it is happening. It is important you can recognise when behaviour isn’t appropriate. It’s also important that you can notice when someone else might be being abused.
Some signs might be:
• Not going to school or not wanting to go to school.
• Having injuries, like bruises.
• Feeling sad and down.
• Feeling like they can’t cope.
• Feeling withdrawn or shy.
• Getting headaches or stomach ache.
• Feeling nervous.
• Not being able to sleep, sleeping too much or getting nightmares.
• Feeling panicked.
• Using alcohol or drugs.
• Changing looks to look much older.
• Being abusive to someone else.
Remember: you can feel all of these things too. Listen to how you feel, and know that these signs can mean you are being abused