This is ABUSE

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Is trying to control someone by checking their phone abuse?

  • Sex with someone who doesn't want to is rape
  • Abuse in relationships isn’t always physical
  • Would you recognise abuse if you saw it?
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Controlling Behaviour
  • Mandem On The Wall
  • Twist and Pulse
  • Charlie McDonnell
  • Bedroom
  • Liam & Beth - Recognise abuse when you see it
  • Ryan & Jade - Recognise abuse when you see it
  • Sam & Alice
  • If you could see yourself
  • Zoe's story
  • Party
  • Takeaway

Is bullying, controlling and putting a partner down abuse?

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Results: 1 - 15 of 83

  • 29/03/2015

    I got out of a relationship nearly 2 months ago. When we first got together he was lovely, but then he'd start telling me I wasn't good enough for him, telling me who hed leave me for, telling me I was fat and constantly making me feel like I wasn't worth anything. It then progressed further to the point that he'd sometimes leave bruises, although this was only occasionally, but he said he did it bbecause I 'faked' being hurt. He told me it didn't matter and that people got bruises all the time. I have talked to him since and doesn't care about what he did. Even in front of his friends he would say horrible things and say it was 'only banter'. I have talked to my friends who have helped but nobody really knows what I'm going through, and it's hard because some of them are still friends with him. I still cry often and can't seem to get over it. Im also so worried it's going to affect future relationships.



    • Hi Mary, thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear what you went through but it is good that you have now left that relationship as it was both emotionally and physically abusive. I know you have already spoken to friends about this but there are specialists you can speak to who can provide advice and support on what’s happened in your previous relationship. I would encourage you to call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247, it’s available 24 hours a day and they can provide advice and support for you.

      This is Abuse team

      This Is Abuse team - 10/04/2015

  • zoe


    My boyfriend, now ex pressured me in to getting the inplant so we could have sex with out a condom. I tried explaining to him that both my older sister got pregnant at a young age and I didn't feel comfortable having sex with out a condom he didn't lilisten and keep insisting I get it. I ended up getting the inplant and after a few days I went to his and his friends flat. He the convenience his friend to leave so we could have sex I told him I wasn't in the mood because I had been experiencing pain when haveing sex but he just kept pressuring me in to it, I give up and just had sex with him I didn't enjoy it and felt pressured. After a week or two I started to feel ill and went and took a pregnancy test it was unclear, so I told him and he said if I was pregnant he would break up with me, this caused the relationship to end. Luckily I wasn't pregnant but I felt If I was he wouldn't have cares.
    It feels good to be out the relationship and to get this of my chest


    zoe - 28/01/2015

    • Hi Zoe

      Thanks for your message. It was not ok for your ex to pressure you to get an implant. This is controlling someones choices around birth control and sex and is abusive. Also pressuring you to have sex when you have said you don't want to and that it causes you pain is rape.
      I am so sorry that you went through all of this.
      It must have been worrying when you thought you were pregnant, especially given his reaction.

      I think you made the right decision to end the relationship, that was a brave choice but the right one as you deserve to be with someone who loves and respects you and your choices.

      If you do want to get some support around what happened you can always talk to rape crisis confidentially -
      freephone helpline
      0808 802 9999
      12 - 2.30pm
      7 - 9.30pm

      Or search for your local rape crisis centres -

      You can also speak to your doctor and discuss getting the implant removed if you do not want it. You can also talk to them about getting tests for STI's just in case so you are not worrying and can move on happily and safely,
      take care

      This is Abuse team - 30/01/2015

  • Joe


    My best friend is being abused and she was raped by her boyfriend. She won't do anything about it. Should I go to her school or the police or something?


    Joe - 24/01/2015

    • Hi Joe

      Thanks for getting in touch, your friend is really lucky to have you looking out for her.

      I am so sorry to hear that she has been abused and raped. That is a hugely traumatic thing to experience and it sounds like she is in a very dangerous relationship. It's good that she has told you what has been going on, but it is also normal for her to be scared to report this as she may be worried that her boyfriend will find out and what he might do. This is why it is so important to have people around her to support her.

      I am not sure how old she is but it is important that she gets support. Do any of your other friends know? Talking to a teacher could be a really good idea.
      You (or her) can also contact the charity 'rape crisis' confidentially and they can listen and give advice.
      freephone helpline
      0808 802 9999
      12 - 2.30pm
      7 - 9.30pm

      You can also search for your local rape crisis centres here -

      The national domestic violence helpline can also help - 0808 2000 247 and you can also report to the police.

      There is some safety advice here:

      It's hard to carry this responsibility on your own so make sure you also get support with this.

      Good luck and take care

      This is Abuse team - 27/01/2015

  • ANNA




    ANNA - 15/11/2014

    • Hi Anna
      I am so sorry to hear that you have been abused by your ex-boyfriend. This must be really upsetting and it's good you got in touch.

      I am not sure how old you are, but if you are at school it would be a good idea to talk to someone there that you trust like a teacher or the school nurse. They can help you.

      You can also call the national domestic violence helpline on 0800 2000 247 or rape crisis on 0808 802 9999 - both of them can offer you free confidential advice about what to do.

      Do you have any contact with him now? It is important to keep safe - here are some tips:

      take care

      This is Abuse team - 12/12/2014

  • rachel


    thought I say my story was 15 I started talking to this boy and he was 18 he made me feel so special he made me believe that he cared at this time I was alone and in care to be honest I had no one he made me believe that I need him for the first 3 time of meeting him he didn't try anything we was friends met him again at his he started touch and kissing I didn't say no but I was so scared. I went home that day not knowing what was happenings he texted me later that night "baby you know what I did it was because you was special and because I love you" replied I know baby he sad well done baby that's my girl.
    we soon got together and well it was so happy and perfected for the first 6months couldn't be more happy just after that soon moved in with him he was now 19sh and I was 16 then started going really down hell social wasn't helping he was getting angry a lot he started making me not go to school and well he said if you loved me you would stay home so I started to do everything he done nothing he made me have a lot of sex and well I did the cooking the cleaning the dog took it for a walk 2 times a day had to go with him or I had to be seen by him, he smashed up all my phones I had a best mate......he hated him told me to stay away had to or he beat me.
    I soon after told his mum she sad he is like his dad but that she was sorry but I had to get on with it I was so upset and angry
    soon started to get in contact with my real mum and he hated it
    long story shorten I left him ........ that day was the best but worse because was beaten and bruised but glad I took it just that last time I got picked by a foster carer who my social worker got me placed because told her everything needed to leave him. and I did I didnt need him but I am getting back on track I got a new boyfriend but its hard because when he goes to kiss me and hug me get scared and move if he moves to fat I cry its hard and I will get though it.
    thanks you for reading :)


    rachel - 15/01/2014

    • Hi Rachel,
      I read your story tonight and think you are an inspiration. You were so brave to leave and I am glad that you have a safe home and I hope that everything is going well? Thank you for being able to share this on this website as I think this will help so many other people who may feel alone and scared. All the best :-)

      Cas - 02/02/2014

    • Hi Rachel

      Thank you for sharing your story, you have been through a lot and it must have been really scary. I am so pleased that you are no longer with your abusive ex-boyfriend and that you have a new foster placement - I hope you are happy there?

      You were really brave to tell people what was happening and to get some support, it can be hard to do that and I am so happy that things worked out.

      It can be hard to trust a new partner, this is normal, it just takes a while as you have been through a trauma and that can have long term impacts on you. Have you been able to get any counselling to talk about what happened? I think that would really help. Your social worker should be able to refer you, there should be a local outreach support service run by women's aid or a support group that you can join. I think that would really help.
      I hope that your new boyfriend is understanding?
      You are right, you will get through this and you don't have to go through it alone,
      take care

      This is Abuse team 17/01/2014

  • Anon


    I'm not sure if this is abuse but with my boyfriend I feel like I can't say no to him because he gets annoyed and in a mood with me. He says I can't say no to him because I'm his girl. He is caring and never put a hand on me he's not like that but he's very stubborn, I normally just give in but I don't think there's been once where he agrees with me. How can I stop him guilt tripping me into things?


    Anon - 11/01/2014

    • Hi,

      Thanks for getting in contact. It sounds like a difficult situation, but it's really important that you understand that no one should pressure you in to doing something you don't want to do.

      Unfortunately you cannot make him change his behaviour, he will have to do this himself. If he is willing to address these issues then he may wish to contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040.

      I think something to consider is what a healthy relationship looks like to you, and if in a healthy relationship you let somebody behave in this way. By pressuring you to do things you don't want to do then your partner is showing that he does not respect you. This is highlighted when he sulks or gets angry when you don't do it.

      If you would like to talk about this a little more then we are running Live Chat sessions Monday to Friday, 5pm-7pm. Alternatively you can call the National Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

      Take care,


      This is Abuse team - 13/01/2014

  • Beth



    I don't know if this is relationship abuse, because i was never actually technically in a relationship with the person, but it felt like it. I had strong feelings for him, and sometimes he'd claim to have them for me.

    John was my best friend when I was 15-17 (I'm 18 now), and he was very controlling. He used to flip out everytime I got into a relationship with someone, calling me a slut and one attacking my boyfriend. He'd constantly be calling me fat, until I starved myself.

    Then, if he got to me, when I cried he'd tell me he did it for my own good... that I couldn't look after myself, and needed him to look after me.

    It got worse through the years. Sometimes he'd just flip out at me over the smallest thing, and he could be very intimidating saying things like "Shut the fuck up, before I snap your neck you bitch."- he's a big guy,and I would back down even though it wasn't really my nature - He's never apologised, but he calms down quickly.

    I still have to be around him at college, but I don't know... Is this really abuse, or is he just a bad friend?


    Beth - 04/01/2014

    • Hi Beth,

      Thanks for getting in contact, this sounds like a really scary situation for you. It is never right for someone to behave in that way towards another.

      Because of your close relationship it could be seen as abuse. He clearly showed signs of being very controlling behaviour which must have been really tough.

      I'm glad that you feel that you now don't have as much contact with him, but it must have still had quite an impact on you and I think it would be really helpful for you to talk to someone about what has happened.

      You can call the National Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

      Take care,


      This is Abuse team - 07/01/2014

  • 27/12/2013

    I've been in a relationship for a year now, and I love my boyfriend. However, about 6 months ago we were out and really drunk, and we had an argument over stupid things, I wanted to leave and didn't want to go home with him, and as we walked through town he was shouting at me, calling me things and arguing, then ended our relationship. We kept arguing and then he apologised and I guess we sorted it out, but then the week after he did a similar thing. Each time we go out I'm scared of how he's going to treat me. I was abused in the past, and was also raped last year, and he knows this, and is supportive and helpful about my past. I have anxiety attacks that he helps me with, and he's always there, however sometimes I'm scared of him. We used to both take drugs a lot and then stopped, and one night I did it again when he wasn't there and I just panicked because I was so scared of what he was going to do. He's never laid a finger on me, not to hurt me, but I'm still scared and I don't know why.



    • Hi Danielle
      Thank you for your message. It sounds like things have been really hard for you.
      I am not surprised that you are feeling scared of your boyfriend as he has acted unpredictably and frightened you in the past.
      Also, you mentioned being raped and I am wondering if this is still affecting you and how you feel in relationships, especially as you are very anxious. I think it would really help to talk to someone about this, and there is a brilliant organisation called rape crisis. They will listen and support you confidentially and can also tell you about any local support services or groups which would also help.
      0808 802 9999 (freephone helpline open 12-2.30 and 7-9.30pm)

      In terms of your boyfriend, do you feel you still want to be with him? Does anyone else know what is going on? It is important to tell other people about it, especially if you are scared. You can always call the police if you are worried.
      You also mentioned drinking and drugs, i am just wondering if you maybe use them to cope with things that have happened to you? This is quite a normal thing to do, but of course is not good in the long term and can make you feel much worse. It may be an idea to get some support with this as well.
      I hope this does not feel overwhelming, It's a lot to think about but you deserve to be happy and safe.
      If you want to talk more, we have a live chat service every mon-fri from 5-7pm.

      take care

      This is Abuse team 28/12/2013

  • kaylee


    If the say it's play fighting but you ask them to stop nd claims its messing arnd is this abuse


    kaylee - 23/12/2013

    • Dear Kaylee,

      Thanks for your message. Messing, or being playful is consensual, it means that you agree to it. Someone fighting you, when you have asked them to stop is not respectful and can be abusive.

      If this is what happens to you it might indicate that there are other aspects of your relationship where you are not heard or taken seriously. It sounds as though this might be worrying you and so it would be good idea to talk with an adult you trust about this. If you want to chat to an advisor about it you can use our live chat service 5pm – 7pm on weekdays.

      Take Care,


      This is Abuse team 24/12/2013

  • layla


    Hi im 21 yearsold , when I was 17/18 I was bestfriends with a boy from my year of school I used to have a major teenage school girl crush on him. We lost contact then got back intouch with eachother when we where both 17 turning 18 he had not long past his driving test and would go out on drives almost every night with our friends we started getting closer as friends and became bestfriends.

    He would take my phone off me and read my texts messages and look through my pictures. He would tell people that im a liar and all I do is lie about things. He would make me feel angry and upset by blaiming me for his petrol running low and call me names infront of people telling his friends I was a slag and would try and pull my top down to show off my boobs infront of his friends I hated it and told him to stop it and all he would say is arr im only joking he would make fun of me to other girls and call me names like are you look like them puppets miss piggy and tell me I had teeth like a rabbit he would always do it infront of people and if we where going out he would time how long it took me to wash and change clothes and things and if I wasn't ready within half an hour he would get angry and be horrible to me.

    One night we where both 18 and got very drunk and stayed at a friends house we kissed he told me he was going to have sex with me and told me to get on the floor I said no we are both drunk lets just go to sleep and he pulled me on the floor and kept pushing and pushing I told him no 2 times but we where both drunk he started to unbutton my jeans and continued I said stop we cant and he said well whats wrong with me you and my bestfriend have been together yeah my bestfriend why wont you with me I felt scared and confused drunk and it happened but I didn't want to he said that if I didn't he would shout and wake are friends up. Thinking of this from the past has worried and iv always been confused and wanted to no if this was abuse I have nothing to do with the guy now and have no intention of speaking to him again. im now in a really good relationship with a guy who the love is mutual but my friend is going through a similar situation as I was a few years ago was this classed as abuse


    layla - 22/12/2013

    • Hi Layla,

      Thanks for sharing you story with people reading this site. You had many traumatic experiences in this relationship. I’m pleased you are in a better relationship now and are happy.

      In your message you describe some very serious things. You say you were forced into sex, this is rape Layla and is a criminal offence. Alongside all the emotional abuse you suffered this sounds like you went through a great deal. I am just wondering if you have had any support for what you have experienced? If not I would encourage you to call Rape Crisis; they are an organisation that works with women who have experienced sexual violence. You can reach them on 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30pm, 7-9:30pm). It’s confidential and is a safe place to talk about what happened to you.

      If you need a bit of support for the emotional abuse you suffered this website is a good place to start looking.

      Take care,

      This is Abuse team 23/12/2013

  • Musty


    Ok. i have in a relationship for quite some time now and i don't know how to convince my girl that am not cheating on her. because she suspect that am playing games with her which is not true. please what should i do?


    Musty - 18/12/2013

    • Hi Musty,

      Thanks for your comment. This is quite a difficult situation to be in, and must be hard for you. Trust is something that is earned, and in all relationships we have to build trust with our partner. The difficulty is that you cannot force your partner to trust you, and if she is never going to trust you then you may need to look at how the relationship will ever work.

      I would like to challenge the use of you calling your partner 'your girl' as this doesn't really show much respect for her. I think the more respect you show her, the more trust you will build.

      I think it's really important that you communicate with your girlfriend to look at what is not working in your relationship, and if you can't address these issues of mistrust then it may be best to look at other options.

      Take care,


      This is Abuse team - 20/12/2013

  • Danielle


    I'm not sure what this is classed as (if anything..), but I've been with my boyfriend 10 months now, never cheated on him, gone behind his back, nothing like that, yet he always wants to know who I'm talking to, who I'm with if I go out, where I am, what I'm doing etc etc.. and I have noticed every single time, if I don't reply within the space of FOUR minutes to a text he starts sending me more and more texts and calling me until I do reply even if I'm busy.... also if he thinks I'm ignoring him, even when I'm not, an example of a text I have received from him is 'if you don't reply within the next ten minutes then I'm done with you'.. I'm sick to death of it but I'm too scared to end it because I don't know how he'll react or what he'll do, I've tried nicely discussing the slow replies with him before but I never sinks in.... help/advice?? :(


    Danielle - 17/12/2013

    • Hi Danielle,

      Thanks for taking the time to contact us. It seems like a really difficult situation for you.

      Your partner seems very controlling, and this is not acceptable. He shouldn't be making threats to end the relationship with you if you don't text him back within a certain time period, sometimes it may not be humanly possible.

      Your boyfriend has to choose to change his behaviour, and you cannot force him to do this. Unfortunately, it seems that he does not want to address this issue.

      If you are worried of how he will act if you break up with him it might be helpful to talk to an adult you trust about the situation, and if he acts out then you have somebody to go to. If you feel that he is putting you in danger at any point then you can call 999.

      If you would like to talk a little bit more about what is happening then you can contact the National helpline on 0808 2000 247, or if you are under 16 then you can contact Childline on 0808 1111.

      Take care,


      This is Abuse team - 19/12/2013

  • Jade


    Ok... so theres tis guy thtat is interessted in me, but hes friends with my younger brother eve tho he is my age. He wants us to get together as a couple, and yesterday he told me that he wanted to loose his v to me even tho we hadnt been talking long, and i asked him if that was all he wanted me for but i dont know whether to believe him or not and im 15 and if i do i espescially dont want my brother t find out. what should i do?


    Jade - 10/12/2013

    • Dear Jade,

      Thanks for your message. It seems that you are uncertain about doing this and rightly so. You are unsure about having sex and it is important to listen to yourself and wait until you are sure.

      It is also important to remeber that the age of consent in the UK is 16. It may seem the that lots of people around you are sexually active but it is really important that you are comfortable, that you want to do it and that you are both over 16.

      There is some helpful information here

      I hope that helps.

      Take Care,


      This is Abuse team 11/12/2013

  • Maddie


    I'm 14 and my boyfriend is 15, he told me at the start of the relationship that he was raped when he was 13 by a boy in his year and said he would never hurt me or pressure me into doing anything. But on the 1st date he started doing all these things that I didn't want to go and got quite aggressive as he was doing them. I started crying but he told me to grow a pair and shut up.

    After that he kept asking for pics I said no (even though he had already seen everything) and he got really cross again. On the 2nd date he told me if I didn't send pics he would tell everyone at my school ( we went to diffrent ones but his best m8 goes to mine) that I was a slag and did loads of stuff with him (which is true) and did it again...

    So I sent some pics but didn't put my face in them, anyway his younger brother saw them and he now goes to my school and showed them to most of the boys in his year ( the year below) and I'm really worried that people in my year will find out, what shall I do???

    Shall I break up with him?


    Maddie - 09/11/2013

    • Hi Maddie

      Thanks for your post. We’re sorry to hear you’ve been suffering abuse. Abuse is wrong and never okay, it’s not normal, it can damage your confidence and your self-worth.

      Signs of emotional abuse can include someone putting you down, calling you nasty names, trying to control you and preventing you from doing certain things or making you do things you don’t want to do.

      If you’re being forced or pressured to have sex, or take part in sexual activity that you don’t feel comfortable with, that is totally unacceptable, no one should be putting you in that position. Please understand that what happened was not your fault and there was nothing you could have done to prevent it, don’t blame yourself. If you are unsure, examples of sexual abuse or assault can include being touched in a sexual way that makes you feel uncomfortable or frightened (this can be through clothes or not), being forced to watch others engage in sexual activity, being pressured to send naked pictures of yourself, sexting and being made to stimulate yourself or others.

      We would encourage you to find someone you trust to talk to, it’s important you speak up about what you’ve been going through. This doesn’t have to be someone in authority, just someone that you think you can talk to and trust. If they don't want to listen, keep trying until you find someone that does, you have the right to be safe and help and support is out there.

      You can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk in confidence about any problem. No problem is too big or small for them. Alternatively, you can go to where you can contact them by email and text, chat to a counsellor online or post to the message boards.

      Also remember that if you have been sexually assaulted you can speak to the police. Most police forces have specially trained police officers who can help. If you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

      This Is Abuse team 13/11/2013

  • Elaine


    I think Sam is right in saying some clips should show male victim/female perpetrator and same sex domestic abuse. Yes the statistics show women are more likely to be victims. However, what about the dark figure of unreported crimes?
    Should there not be a stronger focus highlighting that no matter what gender or sexuality a person is. Domestic abuse should not be accepted at all. How can anyone tell what the true figures are when there is little research focused on male victims, same sex victims or transgender victims of domestic abuse? When a person visits this web page and looks at the clips they may not look at the comments.


    Elaine - 02/10/2013

    • Hi Elaine

      Thanks for your feedback; we are sorry that you feel like this about the campaign.

      We are very aware that anyone can be a victim of abuse whether they are female, male, gay or straight, and that abusers can be female or male.

      We are also aware that most teenage boys have normal and healthy relationships, however in abusive relationships the statistics show that it is usually the male in the relationship that is the abuser and the female the victim and therefore it is important for this campaign to reflect this.

      Our objective is to help both boys and girls spot the signs of abuse in relationships and raise awareness of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, and although we depict a female victim in the advert, the messages are relevant for both boys and girls whether they are victims or abusers.

      We have provided advice and information on the website which points all victims to the help they need - - including specific help for male victims of violence and abuse through Respect and Survivors UK. The site is also a forum where young people can pose questions and discuss the issue with their peers and experts in the field.

      We work with partners such as the Dudley Safe and Sound partnership who have produced videos about male victims of abuse and those in gay relationships, which you can view by clicking on this link:

      We have also produced a video in partnership with Broken Rainbow which is intended to provide advice and signpost help for LGBT victims of domestic violence. You can watch it here:

      We welcome all views, it’s good that the campaign is prompting you to ask questions and seek more information.

      This Is Abuse team - 04/10/2013

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