If you or your family are in immediate danger don't be afraid to call the police on 999. Otherwise please contact Kent Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101 or visit your local police station to speak with an officer in confidence.

Alternatively, you can contact the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or the Mens' Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

1 What is
Domestic Abuse?
2 Am I an
3 How can I
get help?

What is Domestic Abuse?

Abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone. It's never ok. It can destroy your self-confidence, have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing and leave you feeling isolated and lonely.

Some people can be in an abusive relationship without even realising. Abuse in a relationship is when someone tries to control you, hurt you or force you to do things you don't want to. They can do this in lots of different ways.

Abusive behaviour can be:

  • violent (hitting, kicking, slapping)
  • emotional (humiliating and putting you down)
  • sexual (forcing you to do sexual acts you don't want to)

Abusive relationships can start with verbal or emotional abuse and could happen to anyone (including those in same-sex relationships). It can often escalate into physical abuse, by which time your self-esteem is likely to be damaged.

Some warning signs of potential violence and abusive behaviour are:

  • extreme jealousy
  • anger when you want to spend time with your friends
  • isolating you from friends and family
  • trying to control your life (how you dress, who you hang out with and what you say)
  • humiliating you, putting you down
  • threatening to harm you or to self-harm if you leave them
  • demanding to know where you are all the time
  • monitoring your calls and emails, threatening you if you don't respond instantly
  • excessive alcohol drinking and drug use
  • explosive anger
  • using force during an argument
  • blaming others for his/her problems or feelings
  • being verbally abusive
  • threatening behaviour towards others

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Relationships without it are not normal or acceptable.

If you or your friends are suffering from abuse it's not your fault and you should try and tell a trusted adult.

Print this page Continue to 'Am I an abuser?' >