What is a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on mutual respect, trust, honesty and support.
The following tips can help you create and maintain a healthy relationship:
In a healthy relationship, if something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in.
Respect your partner
Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value. Let your significant other know you are making an effort to keep their ideas in mind. Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships.
Disagreements are a natural part of healthy relationships, but it’s important that you find a way to compromise if you disagree on something. Try to solve conflicts in a fair and rational way.
Offer reassurance and encouragement to your partner. Also, let your partner know when you need their support. Healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down.
Respect each other’s privacy
Just because you’re in a relationship, doesn’t mean you have to share everything and constantly be together. Healthy relationships require space (taken from www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships).
So, what is an abusive relationship?
Abuse can happen to anyone but this is more likely if you are a young person. Some signs of abuse may be when your boyfriend/girlfriend says or does certain things that make you feel unloved, untrusted or not very good about yourself, for example:
- you feel blamed for their feelings or they lash out at you;
- you feel they control what you do and who you see;
- they become jealous and say jealous things, maybe even tell you who you can and cannot speak to;
- they comment on your weight or appearance or what you are wearing in a way that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself;
- you skip school to spend time with them;
- you feel that your needs and desires come second to theirs;
- they check up on you constantly to know where you are and who you are with;
- you feel you can’t express your feelings in case they get angry or belittle you;
- you feel frightened of this person and sometimes worry about your safety;
- they have touched you in a way that makes your feel uncomfortable;
- you feel pressured into having sex or they force you to do sexual things you don’t want to;
- they use physical violence to hurt you e.g. grabbing your arm, kicking, pushing, pulling your hair, slapping, pinching, etc.;
- they pressure you to take drugs or alcohol with them, even if you don’t want to.
If you are unsure whether you are in a healthy relationship, you can also use this checklist to find out.
If you answered “yes” to even one of these signs of abuse or you feel something similar is happening, you can contact the following for confidential advice:
Tel: 0800 111 111
If you are under 18 years of age, you can call Childline free (24 hours a day). This will not show up on your landline or mobile phone bill.
24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247
Young people of all ages can call this freephone 24 hour helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.
Other helpful resources:
Respect Not Fear
Other issues you might be worried about:
Embrace - Child victims of crime
Website: What is crime and how can you report it (including abuse in a relationship)
Website: Childline and sexting
I think I might be being used for sex
Website: What is child exploitation?
Become a Youth Champion
Passionate about tackling these issues? Why not become a Youth Champion to help tackle violence against women and girls in your school, college, at work or in the community. To find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org