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Domestic violence

Anyone can become a victim of violent behaviour in their home, regardless of their gender, age or family situation. If you're a victim or worried about someone else, you should know where to go for help.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence covers any incidents of violent behaviour in a family or a relationship. This covers abuse by one family member to another or between two people in a relationship.

Another form of domestic violence is child abuse. This is when a child or young person is harmed, neglected or bullied by an older adult. You don't have to be physically hurt to be a victim of child abuse.

If you're constantly being sworn at or told that you're unwanted, this may also be classed as emotional abuse.

If you're being hurt

If you've been physically or mentally harmed by a parent, carer, older relative or someone you're in a relationship with, you should remember that you are not to blame. Many victims of domestic violence believe that they have created or caused the problems that led to the violence.

This is not the case. The only person to blame is the one who is committing the violent acts.

You should call the police If you feel confident enough. They take crimes like this very seriously and will be able to act quickly. If you don't want to call the police, talk to a friend or a teacher that you can trust about your feelings.

If you know someone else is being hurt

If you're worried that one of your friends, parents or carers is a victim of violence in their own home, tell them about your concerns. It's best to help them talk through the situation and support them if they decide to report the matter themselves.

Teenage relationship advice

A recent NSPCC survey showed that a quarter of girls and 18 per cent of boys have experienced physical violence in a relationship.

Abuse in teen relationships doesn’t just cover physical violence. Other examples of this type of abuse include:

  • pressuring a partner into having sex
  • controlling behaviour
  • unnecessary jealousy or anger

Remember that abuse in a relationship is never okay. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect from their partner.

The 'This is Abuse' website has more information about:

  • what behaviour counts as abuse
  • how to recognise the signs of abuse
  • the organisations who can help you if you’re being abused by your partner

This is abuse

Organisations with further information

If you're suffering from domestic violence, or you're worried that someone you know may be suffering, there are a number of organisations you can contact for helpful advice.

ChildLine

If you're a victim of domestic abuse and you're worried about what will happen if you report it to the police, you should call ChildLine on 0800 1111. They'll be able to let you know what will happen if you tell someone about your situation and help you work out what to do next. ChildLine is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Calls to ChildLine are free and they'll never appear on your phone bill. You may also be able to find useful information on their website.

NSPCC

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) operates a helpline that offers confidential advice for people who are worried about cases of possible child abuse. The NSPCC cannot investigate suspected child abuse cases, but they can report your concerns to the police or your local children's services team. The number is 0808 800 5000 and it's open 24 hours a day.

This content is subject to Crown Copyright

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DirectGov
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