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Advice for young people in abusive relationships

Tags: abuse
Categories: Affairs and Jealousy

A notable minority of young people experience some form of aggression from their partner in their early relationships.

While the numbers vary from study to study, somewhere between 10%-48% of teens report experiencing physical aggression in their dating relationships (pushing, slapping, hitting, hitting the partner down), and one-quarter to one-half of report psychological aggression (making fun of their partner, screaming in their face, calling them names, saying negative things about their appearance).

Some 31% of girls and 16% of boys also experience sexual violence in their early relationships.

In some cases, the abuse can be less easy to spot. See our article on Controlling Partners for more information.

Why do people stay in abusive relationships?

Young people often stay in violent relationships for a number of reasons:

  • they may feel guilty
  • they may feel like it was their own fault
  • they may justify the behaviour as ‘caring’
  • they may begin to see the behaviour as normal
  • or it may be that having a boy/girlfriend brings status.

Some people may think that if their partner is violent, it’s just a one-off occurrence. However, evidence shows that a violent partner is likely to be violent in the future if they do not seek help or support.

How can people in abusive relationships get help?

Most young people who experience violence tell no one or confide in a friend. While friends are able to offer support, there’s a limit as to how much they can protect the person from further violence.

This reluctance is not limited to teens – adults also tend to avoid seeking support when experiencing domestic violence.

See our list of organisations that can help you if you are experiencing abuse in your relationship.

If you need someone to talk to about any relationship issues, theCoupleConnection’s Listening Room is open every night from 9pm to 10pm.

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  • User-anonymous ggg Flag


    Wed 8, Apr 2015 at 8:37am
  • User-anonymous India Flag

    You should never stay in an abusive relationship. There are so many other people out there to choose from. Don't waste your time.

    Thu 21, Aug 2014 at 10:10pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Sometimes there are blurred lines, especially if the beginning of experiencing romantic relationships is tainted by abuse. It's very possible to recognise some familiarity by association in an abusive partner when you have had a painful childhood. It's equally possible to project that out onto the other and also then to behave abusively. We're only human and people can suffer if they are not educated in their own emotions, bodies, or minds, but there are ways of getting help, loads of ways, psychotherapy or counselling is a brilliant way to figure it all out.

    Tue 20, May 2014 at 11:56pm
  • User-anonymous sumathi Flag

    When the abuse is life threatening it is always better to get out of the relationship. If you observe you will understand that inferiority complex and abusive childhood are one of the top reasons for the partner to be abusive. When there is true love, there can be no violent verbal or physical abuse.

    Fri 25, Apr 2014 at 12:57pm