There is nothing like being with someone who you really want to be with. However, intimate relationships can also be tricky – how do you know if your relationship is healthy? Your partner may be behaving in a way that gives you a feeling that things are just not right. Feelings like you are walking on eggshells – being told what to wear, who to see and where to go. Sometimes that behaviour can be so subtle you hardly notice it but gradually it gets worse. 

To be in a healthy relationship means you are happy and safe. Ok, you may not be happy 24/7 and you both have stuff to work through, which you can do through respectful communication, trust and compromise – but you need to feel safe.

To love someone is to respect them and everyone, without exception, deserves respect.

You cannot have love without respect- but what does that look like?

What makes a relationship healthy and what makes it abusive?  How common are abusive relationships? What are the warning signs? How do you help yourself or help a friend? What if you are the person hurting someone else?

It can be hard seeking help – you want to sort it yourself – you may not trust your friends not to share all your story and other people may not understand. You don’t want to get your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend in trouble. You feel you can change your BF/GF/partner. You feel if you do something different things will get better.  You may be worried your community will blame you.

Remember, you have the right to feel safe all the time. You have the right to respect. You have the right to choose who you spend time with.

It is not your responsibility to change someone else – you are not to blame for someone else treating you badly, hurting you or treating you with disrespect.

If you want to help your friend remember it is not your responsibility to fix things for them – you can give them support and information but you cannot make it better for them.

The following links can give you support and information to help yourself or a friend. Get the facts – Get help - Choose love AND respect.

If you are in immediate danger call 999

Tender Healthy Relationships

Tender is an arts charity working with young people to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence by promoting healthy relationships based on equality an respect.


Advice about sex, relationships and the internet.

The Hideout

Help and support for young people and children who are worried about what is happening at home.

Splitz: Local Domestic Abuse Support

Splitz is a local domestic abuse charity offering support for people who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Phone: 0345 155 1074


Childline is a free, confidential hotline for young people under 10 in the UK. Their trained counsellors are available any time, day or night and can help with any issue you are going through, however big or small.

Phone: 0800 1111


Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline offering advice, information and support to help you stop being violent and abusive to your partner.

Phone: 0808 802 4040


Galop are an anti-violence charity who support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have who are subject to violence and abuse and also run a dedicated domestic abuse helpline.

Nation LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

Devon Rape Crisis

Devon Rape Crisis offer confidential, professional support to survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. Support is available for women aged 13 and over, and young men aged 13-25.

Phone: 01392 204 174