Young people and toxic relationships

Young people and toxic relationships

Abusive relationships are common for teenagers with studies showing that abuse affects 14 – 25 year olds more than any other age group.

Abuse can happen at any age, regardless of your gender identity, sex or sexual orientation. There are often warning signs that a relationship is toxic or abusive and abusers may be jealous, may isolate you from friends and eventually be physically violent or make you do things you’re not comfortable with. Toxic relationships can start with ‘love bombing’ which can make you feel special and loved to start with but can signal that someone is controlling or obsessive. If you are in a toxic or abusive relationship, we can help.

How IDAS can help

It is normal to sometimes argue and fall out with your partner, but no-one should ever feel scared, controlled or uncomfortable in a relationship.

Abuse does not have to mean that someone is physically hurting you; abuse can also be emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.

You may be confused because there are parts of that relationship that you like and that feel loving, and your partner may sometimes feel like your best friend, but if they behave in a way that means you feel scared or uncomfortable, then it is not OK. It may be that they are putting pressure on you to do something that you don’t want to do, which might include doing things online.

If you are in a relationship with someone that you think may be abusive, we can support you for free and in confidence. We will never tell you what to do, but we will talk with you about what is going on for you, discuss your options and help you to stay safe. We will only ever share information with anyone if you tell us something that means you or someone else is at risk of being hurt.

There is also help we can get for your partner, boyfriend or girlfriend if they want to receive support to help change their behaviour.