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Abusive Relationships

two boys

Contact telephone numbers
The number to call if you are worried about a child or young person and think they may be the victim of neglect or abuse:

If you or a child is in immediate danger telephone 999

If your or a child is at risk of significant harm contact the
Safeguarding Referral Team Telephone 01782 235100

You can call someone in Stoke-on-Trent to help if you are worried about a child or young person and think they may be a victim of neglect or abuse
Advice and Access Team Telephone 01782 232200

Emergency Duty Team - 01782 234234 (After 5pm)

Abusive relationships don’t just happen to adults. Young people can experience abusive behaviour from their boyfriend or girlfriend, in mixed sex or same sex relationships.

Abusive behaviour can be:

  • physical (hitting, kicking, slapping)
  • emotional (humiliating you or putting you down)
  • sexual (forcing you to do sexual acts you don’t want to do)

Abusive relationships can start with verbal or emotional abuse and could happen to anyone. It can often escalate into physical abuse, by which time your self-esteem is likely to be damaged.

Some warning signs of potential violence and abusive behaviour are:

  • extreme jealousy
  • angry when you want to spend time with your friends
  • isolating you from friends and family
  • trying to control your life – how you dress, who you hang out with and what you say
  • humiliating you or putting you down
  • threatening to harm you or to harm themselves if you leave them
  • demanding to know where you are all the time
  • monitoring your calls and emails, threatening you if you don’t respond immediately
  • excessive drinking of alcohol or drug use
  • explosive anger
  • using force during an argument
  • blaming others for his / her problems or feelings
  • being verbally abusive
  • threatening behaviour towards others
  • pressuring you to send them sexual texts or images of yourself

Resources and Useful Websites:

Grange Park Sexual Assault Referral Centre - Grange Park is a centre providing services to men, women and children living in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

At Grange Park you can access a range of services that are free and confidential.

For more information on Grange Park and the services offered, please visit:
Contact Grange Park by calling 0300 7900 166 by emailing 

Abuse in Relationships booklet for young people

Love hurts no marks - Abuse in relationships messages for young people (click on the link below)

Broken Rainbow provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experiencing domestic abuse. It also runs a helpline for anyone experiencing homophobic, transphobic or abuse within a same sex relationship. Please call 0800 999 5428

The Men’s Advice Line has been set up for male victims in both mixed and same sex abusive relationships. Please call 0808 801 0327

Rape Crisis offers a range of services for women and girls who may have been raped or who have experienced another form of sexual violence. Please click on the link for more information, advice or to find your nearest Rape Crisis Centre. Alternatively, to contact the National Sexual Violence Helpline, please call 0808 802 9999

Respect phoneline: For any young person who recognises that they are abusive within their relationship, help and support can be found on the website, or by calling 0808 802 4040

Thinkuknow offers advice to young people on sex, relationships and the internet. It also provides up-to-date information to help young people develop the skills they need to make sure they stay safe and are happy in the decisions they are making.

Domestic abuse occurs when one adult hurts or bullies another adult who is or was their partner, or who is in the same family. Domestic abuse can happen between people who are boyfriend and girlfriend or people who are married.

It can happen when people live together or even if they live in different houses. Usually, but not always, it is the man who hurts the woman. However current research is indicating that the numbers of males who are subject to domestic abuse is significantly rising. This abuse is either those who are in the same sex relationships or where, a woman is subjecting her male partner to domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse happens between adults, children and young people in the family can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear. They can also be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse can be:

Definition March 2013
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • Physical – for example, hitting, pushing, kicking, punching
  • Emotional – saying things to frighten the other person or make them feel bad
  • Sexual – making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to
  • Financial – for example. Taking away the other person’s money, or not letting them get a
  • Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”*

*This definition includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour that some adults use to control other people. If someone in your family is abused, remember it’s not your fault.

If this is happening in your family, remember that you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family. You won’t get into trouble for telling someone. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe.

Keeping Safe
If there is domestic abuse in your home, then it is important that you keep yourself safe when there’s a fight. You might feel like you have to stop the fight and protect the parent/person who’s being hurt, but this can be very dangerous and puts you at risk of getting hurt too.

If you are scared when there is a fight, you can call 999 and ask for the police – they will come to your house at any time of the day or night.

It’s helpful if you can tell a friend or an adult that you trust about the domestic abuse at home. This might be a teacher or a youth worker for example. If you don’t feel able to talk to someone that you know, then there are lots of other people who can help.

Useful telephone numbers
You can call a national helpline number (free of charge)
NSPCC Helpline – 0808 800 5000

Child line – 0800 1111

There is also useful information on various website:-

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