Sometimes, relationships which are not healthy can turn into something more worrying such as a controlling relationship. This can be very difficult to deal with, and escape from, and sometimes you may not even realise you are being controlled. Often, someone who is controlling the relationship will isolate their partner by stopping them from seeing or contacting family and friends.
It is important that we are all familiar with the signs of controlling behaviour so we can recognise if it is happening to us and help others.
Classic signs of controlling behaviour in a relationship
- excessively texting or messaging you all the time and getting angry if you don’t reply immediately
- demanding the passcode to your phone, going through messages and social media accounts
- tracking your location on your phone using Snapchat or Find my iPhone
- criticising your clothes and appearance, putting you down and making you feel ugly
- humiliating you in front of other people
- pressuring you to do things you’re not comfortable with
- stopping you from seeing friends and family and controlling where you go and who with
- always getting jealous
- blaming you for their behaviour
- making you feel it’s all in your head and making you doubt yourself
How to get help for yourself or someone else
If you, or someone you know, are being threatened or are in danger, call 999 and ask for the police. Or you can phone the Access and Response Team on 01454 866000 or 01454 615165 (evenings / weekends). These are the people who will help to keep you safe.
A variety of help and support is available from organisations like; Brook, Childline, Julian House, Unity Sexual Health, SARSAS and Off the Record. You will be believed and taken seriously. Although these organisations offer confidential services, they may need to share your information with others in order to keep you safe. If they need to do this they will always explain what they will do before they do it. You can also speak to your; school health nurse, learning mentor, youth worker, teacher or social worker.
Controlling relationships can also lead to other dangerous behaviour where someone is exploited and used for sexual purposes, for financial gain or forced to commit crime.
If you are 11 to 19 years old and need to get confidential advice about mental health, bullying, alcohol, self-harm, smoking, healthy eating or healthy relationships, send a message to 07312263093 and a school nurse will get back to you.
You can also watch this film co-created with young people, as two friends see a glimpse of what their friend’s relationship is really like and try to reach in to let her know the way she’s being treated is not okay.
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