What is teenage relationship abuse?

What is teenage relationship abuse?

The current UK definition of domestic violence includes incidences of abuse between people aged 16 or over, but it is important to note that violence and abuse can occur in relationships between children and young people at any age. Teenage relationship abuse is when there is actual or threatened abuse within a romantic relationship or a previous relationship. One partner will try to maintain power and control over the other and this can have a significant impact on young people. Relationship abuse can take a number of forms including: physical, sexual, financial, emotional or social. If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, it’s possible you are in an abusive relationship.

Relationship warning signs

Does your partner or ex-partner:

  • Harm you physically in any way, including slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking, kicking, and punching?
  • Try to control different aspects of your life, such as how you dress, who you hang out with, and what you say?
  • Frequently humiliate you or make you feel unworthy? (for example, if a partner puts you down but tells you that he or she loves you)
  • Threaten to harm you, or to self-harm, if you leave the relationship?
  • Twist the truth to make you feel you are to blame for their actions?
  • Make you do things you don’t want to do? (for example, forcing you to do something sexual)
  • Isolate you from friends and family?

If you have answered yes to any of the above you could be in an abusive relationship.

Abuse in relationships can happen to anyone. It is never ok, and if it’s happening to you it is not your fault. If you are experiencing abuse, or have done in the past Acorns can offer confidential advice and support. You can also download a version of the above checklist to print out by clicking the image below.


Useful links

Streetwise - Free confidential advice & information for young people

Useful resources