The signs of an abusive relationship

Take our relationship health test and see if you could be in an abusive relationship.

The new definition of domestic abuse recognises the effect on young victims and the impact of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over. This could be intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Read the new definition on GOV.UK (external link)

Take our relationship health test

With healthy relationships you feel:

  • safe
  • supported
  • respected
  • loved.

And your partner:

  • supports your goals
  • sometimes admits to being wrong
  • discusses things with you
  • involves you in decisions
  • is interested in your happiness
  • is willing to compromise.

With unhealthy relationships you feel:

  • frightened
  • intimidated
  • isolated
  • ashamed. 

And your partner:

  • threatens you
  • makes all the decisions
  • controls your actions
  • blames you
  • threatens to harm others
  • humiliates you.

How does this happen?

  • Like most people, you may have entered this relationship thinking that it would last.
  • You may be committed to the relationship and it is hard to admit that all is not right.
  • As time goes on, your partner may act out of character and you make allowances for this.
  • You start to feel that you are walking on eggshells and that you may be to blame.
  • You may be confused as to why this is happening and will try to understand the reasons for the change in your partner’s behaviour.
  • As things worsen, you might wonder what you can do to make things right, but you may not consider this could be domestic abuse. You become frightened and perhaps think about leaving.
  • If you find the strength to leave you may go back several times.
  • You may feel lonely, confused, frightened and ashamed.

You are not alone...

Last updated:
22 March 2022
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