I’m just a kid, what can I do?
Nobody, whatever their age, should be a victim of domestic abuse. There are too many children and young people trapped in frightening situations that they feel they can't escape from.
For young people especially it may not be happening at home – it could be your boyfriend or girlfriend who is abusing you. But if you are in this situation, it's important to remember that no matter who is being violent and abusive, its not your fault. You can change what is happening and live a different life if you want to - you just need to take the first step and talk to someone.
Are you worried about how healthy your relationship is? Do you think you are in an abusive relationship?
There are four types of abuse:
- Neglect is the most common form of abuse and is when your basic needs like food, clothing and warmth are not met properly.
- Physical abuse is when someone physically hurts you - such as slapping, biting, kicking and punching.
- Emotional abuse can be a lack of attention and love, or too much spiteful and cruel attention.
- Sexual abuse is when someone treats you in a sexual way when you don't want them to.
If you think you are being abused you must tell someone. There are people you can talk to in confidence and they will help you. You can talk to a teacher, your School will have a child protection co-ordinator, a student advisor/counsellor, an adult you trust or your doctor.
Help and support agencies for children and young people
Children’s Services SAP: Tel 01724 296500 (available 09:00-17:00 Monday-Thursday, 09:00-16:30 Friday) or the out of hours team on 01724 296555 (also available 24 hours Saturday and Sunday). For more information on making a referral see LSCB multi-agency policy and procedures http://www.northlincslscb.co.uk/professionals/policies/.
Childine: Tel 0800 1111. The number is free and won’t show up on your phone bill. The interactive website provides helpful support and advice www.childline.org.uk.
NSPCC: Tel 0808 800 5000. This is a confidential number for children and young people. It is free on landlines and on most mobile phones. If you as an adult are worried about a child, you can telephone: 0800 800 5000 (24 hours) www.nspcc.org.uk.
The Hideout www.thehideout.org.uk. The Hideout is Women’s Aid’s dedicated website which helps children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it is happening to you.
Disrespect NoBody www.disrespectnobody.co.uk The new teenage relationship abuse campaign aimed at 12-18 year old boys and girls with the aim of preventing them from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships, by encouraging them to rethink their views of violence, abuse, controlling behaviour and what consent means within their relationships. This also includes a new discussion guide for those working with young people to facilitate discussions on these issues.
Ebeat www.ebeat.org.uk has a section on their website targeted at young people. The ‘MyHub’ section includes information about teenage relationship abuse, bullying and other. Also watch the ‘You have the right’ film (see YouTube) about healthy and unhealthy relationships and the support available to young people.
Remember you are not alone, you just have to be brave enough to take the first step and talk to someone.
Need someone to talk to? The Youth Information and Counselling Unit is here to help. Y.I.C.U. is free, confidential and for young people up to the age of 25. Telephone them on 01724 281824.