Domestic abuse - information for children

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It can happen between people who are in a relationship but it can also happen when a relationship has ended. It can happen between family members.

Although domestic abuse happens mostly between adults, children and young people can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear, and they can be harmed as part of domestic abuse between adults. Young people may also experience abuse from their own boy/girlfriend. It is a pattern of controlling behaviour which can include:


  • constantly checking where someone is
  • preventing someone from seeing their friends or family
  • constantly putting a person down
  • using the children to bully
  • Shouting and intimidating behaviour
  • Stalking and harassment


  • punching, kicking, slapping, pushing,
  • strangling or smothering someone
  • threatening to hurt someone
  • not allowing someone to take medication or giving them too much


  • making a person do sexual things that they do not want to do
  • rape
  • posting naked images of you on the internet or on social networking sites
  • making you watch pornographic material that you don't want to


  • not allowing someone to have any money
  • deliberately getting someone into debt
  • making someone give up their job or stopping them from getting a job
  • stealing from someone

Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour that is often very controlling.

A recent NSPCC survey showed that 25% of girls and 18% of boys have experienced physical violence in a relationship.

As with adults, abuse in teen relationships doesn't just cover physical violence. Other examples of this type of abuse include:

  • pressuring you into having sex
  • controlling behaviour including what friends you can see or speak to and where you go
  • jealousy or anger
  • threatening to put lies, personal information, pictures on social networking sites
  • constant name calling and comments

If you are experiencing domestic abuse at home or in your relationship it is important that you don't suffer in silence.