Abuse in a relationship is never OK. It can destroy your self-confidence, and make you feel worthless, unsafe, anxious and isolated. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
In a confidential survey by the NSPCC of over 1,300 young people aged 13-17, one in four girls reported physical partner abuse and one in three girls reported some form of sexual partner abuse.
So is it just girls or those in male/female relationships who suffer relationship abuse?
No – relationship abuse can happen to anyone. However, girls tend to experience physical, emotional and sexual partner abuse more frequently and severely than boys. More girls report that it has a highly negative impact on their confidence and wellbeing, while some boys describe it as just messing around and say it makes them annoyed rather than unhappy.
The abuse may not be happening to you. Sometimes it happens at home between parents/carers or other family members. Seeing or hearing abuse in your family or at home can make you feel really bad and helpless. Remember that it’s not your fault. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe.
We asked some young people in SW London what messages they had about relationship abuse and domestic abuse for other young people. This is what they said:
Sexual bullying is bullying behaviour which can be physical or non-physical, and is based on a person’s sexual life or gender. It can be carried out in various ways, to the person’s face, behind their back, online or via mobile phones. It may involve peers using sexual words to put someone down, making threats or jokes about serious and frightening subjects like rape, or talking or spreading rumours about someone’s sex life.