Talking to young people

Talking to a young person about possible abuse in his or her own relationship can be very difficult. The young person being abused needs you to believe in them and support them. It’s highly likely that they will believe that it’s their fault and that they deserved it or ‘asked for it’ – this is not true.

The abused person is never responsible for what’s happening to them. It’s your job to listen to them, be patient with them and to support them in seeking help and leaving the relationship.

It takes a lot of courage to speak up about being abused so let the young person know that you recognise this and will support them without judgment or criticism.

What are the signs of an abusive relationship?
It’s very difficult to know whether someone is being abused or not, however, there might be a few things that indicate something’s wrong:

• Changes in everyday routines
• Unexplained or explanations that don’t make sense about bruises, broken bones, sprains, or marks
• Wearing inappropriate clothing to try to cover up and bruises, marks, etc.
• Isolation or withdrawal from friends and family
• Avoidance of school or social events and activities
• Spend excessive amounts of time with the person they’re seeing
• Constantly having to explain themselves to their girl/boyfriend