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I'm a victim of domestic abuse (child / teenager)

If you're in immediate danger, call 999.

Police won't automatically be sent if you stay silent on a 999 phone call. If you can, cough or tap the phone to make a noise and let the operator know you're there.

If you can't do that, your call will be sent to an automated system (Silent Solutions) and you'll need to press 55 to prove that you need help. When you've pressed 55, the operator will transfer you to the police.

The police call handler will try to ask you simple yes or no questions. If you are not able to speak, listen carefully to the call handler's questions and instructions. They will assess your call and arrange help if you need it.

What is domestic abuse?


Domestic abuse isn't always physical. The other kinds of abuse can hurt just as much as physical. They are all wrong, and many are against the law.

Physical abuse is when one person hits, pushes, throws things, smashes things, or threatens to physically hurt the other.

Emotional abuse is making the person feel hurt or bad about themselves. This might be putting the other person down, making them feel stupid or making threats to harm themselves if their partner leaves. It can also be when one person stops the other from seeing their friends or family or is constantly checking up on where they are.

Financial abuse is when one person takes control of the money in the household, and doesn't let the other person have any.

Sexual abuse is when one person makes the other do sexual things that they don't want to do. No one has the right to force someone else into sexual contact - even if they are married.

I think domestic abuse is happening in my family


Firstly it's important to understand that you're not to blame. If you or someone else are being abused, you're not responsible for how the abuser behaves.

If one family member is abusing another, they are also abusing you. Seeing a person treat another person badly can really hurt or upset you, and they are not making your home a safe or happy place to be.

You shouldn't have to feel nervous in your own home because of the way someone behaves.


  • the person who is being abusive knows what they're doing is wrong, even if they act like they don't
  • there are no excuses for treating someone else badly
  • being drunk or angry is no excuse for hurting someone else.

Sometimes the person who is being abused can feel like people blame them for letting it happen. For the person being abused it is very difficult to know how to handle or cope with the situation. Remember, a victim is never to blame for the abuse.

It can be very hard to leave a relationship, even when it involves abuse. The person who is abused might think they still love the abuser and hope they’ll change, or they may have no money or no place to go.

If you can, talk to your parent about how you feel. They may not realise how it's affecting you. They might think you don't know it is happening.

If you can't talk to your parent, you might want to talk to someone you trust. This could be a teacher, a youth worker, a grandparent, or a neighbour.

What's the difference between arguments and domestic abuse?


All couples have arguments. There is a difference between arguments and abuse. In a healthy relationship, sometimes people might argue or disagree, but they should still feel able to say what they really think.

Domestic abuse is when one family member bullies or frightens another so they don't feel like they can say or do what they want to.

There is no excuse for domestic abuse.

How can I get help with domestic abuse at home?


If you're in danger, or if you or a family member is about to get hurt, call the police on 999.

If you're worried about domestic abuse in your family, find someone you can tell. You might feel embarrassed, guilty, or scared but by letting someone know, you will feel safer. It may help make it stop and help you feel less alone. Tell someone you trust, like a teacher, a youth worker, or a family friend.

If they think you're in danger, they may need to talk to the police, who can investigate what happened, or they might contact a support organisation who will help end the domestic abuse. If the police or support organisation are worried about your safety or feel that your family can’t protect you from the abuse, they will involve agencies to offer you protection and make you safe.

If you can't talk to anyone you know, there's still lots of support to help you and your family:

  • We have a special team which keeps children and young people safe, called 'Middlesbrough Multi Agency Children's Hub'. You can ring them and talk to them about what's happening at home, and they'll decide how to help you. You can call them on 01642 726004. If you need to speak to someone in the evening or on a weekend, you can call the 'out of hours service' on 01642 524552. Remember, if it's an emergency, you should call 999.
  • Childline is a helpline for children and young people. If you need to talk to someone about what's going on at home, they'll listen to you. It's free, and they are open all day and all night. Everything you say is confidential. That means they won't tell anyone what you say unless they think you're in danger. You can call the helpline on 08000 1111 or go on the Childline website.
  • The Hideout is a website that tells you all about domestic abuse. You can find out what domestic abuse is, if it's happening to you, and what you can do about it.

What happens if I call the police?


If you are in danger, or if you or a family member is about to get hurt, call the police on 999.

They will ask you what is happening, and will come to you any time, day or night. They will need to know your name and address.

The police will take action to stop the abuse and make you safe. They might talk to the person who is abusive. They could give them a warning, or ask them to leave the house. They may arrest the person and charge them with a crime.

They could help make arrangements to prevent the person being able to contact you or other family members to keep you safe. They will make sure you and your family members are supported by people who understand how you’re feeling.

Can domestic abuse happen in teenage relationships?


Yes, domestic abuse can happen between teenagers who are in a relationship.

An abusive relationship is based on power and control. In the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may not always recognise the signs. At first you might feel loved and flattered by all the attention. However, possessiveness or making you feel pressured are all about power and control. You should not feel frightened or intimidated, unable to see your friends or family, or like you can’t go out or have fun. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind. You deserve to feel safe, respected and accepted in a relationship.


  • you are not to blame if your partner is abusive to you.
  • abusers try to isolate their partners. Talk to your friends, family members, teachers and others to make sure you’re getting the support you need.

Maintaining healthy relationships involves:

  • respect for each other and each other’s privacy. Just because you’re in a relationship, you don’t have to share everything and always be together. Healthy relationships require space.
  • support – always build each other up, not put each other down.
  • communication – if something is worrying you, talk about it.

Making a safety plan can help you to stay safe and avoid dangerous situations.

This short video might help you to recognise abuse in your relationship.

If you think your relationship is abusive, you can get advice from Disrespect Nobody or Thinkuknow. You can find out more about them in the 'Find advice and help online' section listed in the sections below.

Can I get help if I'm experiencing domestic abuse in my relationship?


My Sisters Place has an IDVA for children and young people. An IDVA is an 'independent domestic violence adviser'. They support people who are experiencing domestic abuse in their relationship. There are IDVAs for adults too, but you'll be able to speak to one who is specially trained to work with young people. They'll help you to learn about healthy relationships, and make plans to keep you safe.

You can speak to the IDVA for children and young people by calling My Sisters Place on 01642 241864 or emailing hello@mysistersplace.co.uk.

What is ME TIME?


ME TIME is therapy for children and young people aged 4 to 18 years who have experienced domestic abuse. Therapy is where you can let an adult (a therapist) know how you're feeling and what's happened to you. This might be by talking, drawing, or another way. The therapist will help you understand what's happened, and how you can feel better about it. Therapy is confidential, which means anything you say is secret.

Normally people can only get ME TIME if someone from our Children's Services team is helping them. But if you think ME TIME would help you, you can get in touch with My Sisters Place by calling 01642 241864 or emailing hello@mysistersplace.co.uk.

Find advice and help online



Childline has a free 24 hour, confidential helpline for children and young people. Call 08000 1111 for help and advice.

The Hideout

The Hideout is a national domestic abuse website for children and young people.

Disrespect Nobody

The Disrespect Nobody campaign is aimed at young people, encouraging them to understand what a healthy relationship is, to rethink their view of controlling behaviour, violence, abuse and sexual abuse, and what consent means. It will also tell you where to get help and advice.


Thinkuknow offers advice to young people on sex, relationships and staying safe online. People online may try to make you do things which make you uncomfortable, like talking about sex, asking you to send naked photos of yourself, or pressuring you to meet them in real life.

If this happens you can report it using the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) ‘report it’ button. You’ll be asked for information about you and what’s happened, which will help people to keep you safe. You can also make a report to CEOP if you are worried about a friend, or someone you know.