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Is This Love?

This is a caring relationship

Two people feel good about themselves and each other. Good relationships include things like:

  • Freedom to do your own thing.
  • Being good friends.
  • Time and space to see your friends.
  • Having your own interests.
  • Knowing your opinions are respected.
  • Listening to each other.
  • Having fun together.
  • Trusting each other.
  • Being able to disagree with each other.
  • Being able to go at your own pace – including sexually.
  • Making decisions together.
  • Being able to talk about it when you have an argument.
  • Feeling safe.
  • Respecting the decision if either of you want to end the relationship.

Someone who loves you cares about you.
Everyone deserves respect.
There are no excuses for abuse.
Physical assault is a crime.
Be true to yourself.

This is not a caring relationship

One person dominates and controls the other:

  • Your partner gets angry when you talk to someone else.
  • Your partner is verbally aggressive or physically threatening.
  • Your partner calls you names, puts you down, makes you feel bad.
  • Your partner uses force, threats, emotional blackmail or bargains to make you do things you don’t want to do.
  • Your partner threatens to harm any of your family, friends, pets or property.
  • Your partner posts unpleasant or intimately revealing things about you on the internet.

This is control.
This is abuse.
Does this sound familiar? Get help.

When it comes to relationships there is no place for violence, abuse or taking advantage of your partner.

Emotional Abuse includes

  • Name calling
  • Threats
  • Humiliation
  • Blame
  • Insults
  • Put downs
  • Isolation from friends / family
  • Ridicule
  • Intimidation
  • Being ignored
  • Control
  • Pressure
  • Extreme jealousy

Sexual Abuse includes:

  • Pressurising someone into having sex (this could include touching, kissing, fondling, oral sex, or penetration).
  • Taking photos of someone in a sexual situation when they don’t want to be photographed or are not aware of it, including on a mobile phone.
  • Sending those photos to other people or posting them on websites.
  • Forcing someone to look at pornography.
  • Offering someone to another person for sex.

Physical Abuse includes:

  • Putting another person in danger.
  • Pushing.
  • Slapping.
  • Hitting.
  • Punching.
  • Kicking.
  • Hair pulling.
  • Choking.
  • Burning.
  • Using a weapon or another object to harm.


Sexual Abuse is when someone does sexual things to you that you don’t agree to.

Jealousy and isolation is when someone cuts you off from your friends or gets angry when you talk to other people.

Aggression is when someone yells and shouts at you, uses physical violence, gets into fights with other people or uses violence to solve problems.

Put downs are when someone makes you feel stupid, calls you names, makes nasty comments or generally puts you down.

Control is when someone checks up on you all the time – where you are, where you have been and who you are with; threatens or forces you to do things you don’t want to do; or doesn’t let you make your own decisions.

If any of these things is happening to you, you may be in an abusive relationship.

If you are in immediate danger call the Police on 999

Relationship abuse is not a one-off event. It’s a cycle and usually gets worse if nothing is done to stop it. It’s not your fault. Abusers are responsible for their behaviour. If you are in an abusive relationship, the best thing for you to do is end it. This may be tough and you may need help.

  • Find support from people who care about you.
  • Contact one of the support organisations.
  • Go out in groups (not alone) for a while.
  • Carry a mobile phone or phone card and phone numbers of people or organisations who can offer support.
  • Carry money.
  • Make sure you can always get home safely.
  • Speak to an adult you trust or one of the organisations listed in this section.

If you want to change your behaviour you can – with help. To talk to someone who can help, phone Respect on 0845 122 8609 www.respect.uk.net Respect offers information and advice to people who behave in abusive ways, as well as to those who are victims of abuse. Nothing is so bad you can’t talk about it.

There are other services that can help you:

National Contacts:

National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hr) 0808 2000 247
Refuge 0808 2000 247
NCDV (for help with an injunction / order) 0844 8044 999
M.A.L.E (Male Advice Line) 0808 8010 327
Broken Rainbow (Gay and Lesbian Support) 08452 604460
NSPCC 0808 800 5000

Local Contacts

St Helens:

Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service: 01744 743200
Helena Refuge: 01744 7354111
24 hour Helpline: 01925 220541
Safe Place Merseyside: 0151 295 3550


Domestic Violence Support Services: 0151 548 3333


Domestic Abuse Helpline (24 Hour): 0151 495 2778
Halton Women’s Aid: 0300 1111 247
Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre (RASASC) 01925 221 546
SAFE Place Merseyside: 0151 295 3550

Click here for the Domestic Abuse: Help & Support Information Leaflet

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