Harmful Relationships

You are not alone. There are lots of people who want to help.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is when someone you are in a relationship with (or used to be in a relationship with) tries to control and hurt you. 


People of any age, gender identity and sexual orientation can experience domestic abuse. You might also live in a house where domestic abuse is happening in your parent or carers relationship. 


This can be scary, and it is not okay. You deserve to be safe and supported at all times. 


Types of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can look lots of different ways, here are some examples:

Telling what you can and can’t wear, or who you can be friends with. This could also look like texting you all the time to know where you are or reading your private messages without permission.

Saying they will tell people private information about you, or that they will hurt you, themselves or someone else if you don’t do what they say. This could include telling people about your sexual orientation or gender identity without your permission.

Calling you names, making you feel bad about who you are and not respecting your identity. For example, refusing to use your correct name and pronouns.

For example, pushing you into doing sexual things that you don’t feel comfortable with.

Pushing, kicking, hitting or throwing things.

Taking money from you or preventing you from going to work, school or college.

Getting Support

It is never okay for your partner to make you feel afraid or bad about yourself. If you are experiencing any of this in your relationship, that is not your fault. You deserve  to get the support that you need. 


If you’re worried you might be in an abusive relationship, this quiz might help you. 

Support in your area

You can find out what support is available in your area by contacting these services:


  • The Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline is open 24 hours a day. You can call them on 0800 027 1234, WhatsApp them on 07401288595 or use their live chat. The service is open to people of all genders, and Scottish Women’s Aid have received the LGBT Charter award.
  • The Rape Crisis Scotland helpline is open every day from 5pm till midnight. You can call them on 08088 010302, text them on 07537410027 or use their live chat service. This service is open to people of all genders, and Rape Crisis Scotland have received the LGBT charter award.

Leaving an Abusive Relationship

If you’re thinking of leaving an abusive relationship it is important to get support to think about how to do this safely. Have a think about speaking to someone you trust who might be able to help you.

Contacting the Police

You might decide that you want to report what has happened to you to the police. This is your decision to make. It can help to have someone to support and guide you through this process, and you can find out more about that from the services listed above. 


If you want to report your abuser, you can also make an online report to Police Scotland.

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