Dating Abuse

In a Healthy relationship your partner

  • Respects your right to change your mind.
  • Respects your privacy and your friends
  • Respects and trusts you
  • Respects what you are comfortable with.

Warning signs of an Abusive relationship


Do you Feel?

  • Lonely when you stop me from spending time with my friends
  • Confused when one minute you love me and the next you hurt me
  • Pressured when you insist on having sex, or watching pornographic movies
  • Trapped when you say you love me and can’t go on without me
  • Controlled when you’re constantly texting and checking up on me
  • Embarrassed when you slag me off and put me down in front of our friends

How common is dating abuse?

  • One in three teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship. (
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been victims of physical abuse in their dating relationships continue to date the abuser.(
  • 68% of teens say their boyfriend/girlfriend sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos of them is a serious problem. (
  • 20% of young women (18- 29) have been victims of cyber harassment (FRA Europe 2014)
  • 95% of young women report knowing someone experiencing abuse (Women:s Aid 2001)
  • 84% of young men report knowing someone who is experiencing abuse (Womens Aid 2001)
  • 60% of young people experiencing abuse are under the age of 25 (National Crime Council ERSI 2005)

 What counts as Dating Abuse?

Physical Abuse

Involves violent or threatening contact with another persons body. This can be slapping, kicking, pinching, punching, etc..

Verbal & Emotional Abuse

Involves the spoken word. This can be calling names, making you feel low about yourself and playing mind games...

Sexual Abuse

Being forced to take part in any sexual activity when you don't want to or being exposed against your will to sexually explicit material.


How will I know if my friend is in an unhealthy relationship?

  • Their partner is always checking up on them, calling and texting demanding to know who they are with.
  • Their partner is calling them names and putting them down.
  • Their partner acts very jealous when they are talking to other people.
  • They apologise and make excuses for their partner.
  • My friend has stopped doing things they previously enjoyed doing.
  • They feel it's 'too much too soon'
  • I have seen their partner lose their temper and maybe hit or break things when mad.
  • Their weight or appearance has changed a lot.
  • My friend is worried about making their partner angry.
  • They have injuries that can't be explained.

What should I do if I am concerned about a friend?

  • Break the silence.
  • Express concern.
  • Let your friend know it won't get better by itself.
  • Write down supports your friend already has.
  • Don't look for reasons for the abuse.
  • Be patient.
  • Tell your friend about places they can go to talk.
  • Don't try to deal with this by yourself!
  • DON'T ask what caused it - there is NO excuse for abuse.

What should I do if I am concerned about my own relationship?

  • Change the number of your mobile, and always have credit to be able to call someone who could help you if you need help.
  • Where could you go quickly to get away from an abusive person?
  • Keep a diary describing the abuse.
  • Tell a friend or someone you trust about the violence and abuse.
  • Talk to an adult you trust about what is worrying you.
  • Think about who you can call for a lift home if you are stuck.

Ending a Relationship Safely

If you're thinking of ending your relationship, consider these tips:

  • If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person. It may seem cruel to break up over the phone, by email or in a public place but it may be the safest way. Make sure you have friends are nearby.
  • Set your Facebook/Twitter profile to private; block your ex, and/or remove them from your friend list.
  • Don’t try to explain your reasons for ending the relationship more than once. There is nothing you can say that will make your ex happy.
  • Let your friends know you are ending your relationship, especially if you think your ex will try and chat to you or confront you when you're alone.
  • If your ex does try to chat to you make sure that you are with friends or in a public place where you will not be alone.
  • When going out to socialise there is a possibility that your ex will be there ensure that you have someone with you to support you in the event you run in to your ex.
  • Trust yourself. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.
  • Ask for help.For more information see our links page.

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