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If you are worried about someone’s immediate safety, call the Police on 999.
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or dating someone new, everyone is entitled to a positive, respectful and loving relationship.
Unfortunately domestic violence and abuse is very common and sometimes people don’t realise they are in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence affects both men and women of all ages.
Domestic abuse isn’t just physical violence; if you aren’t allowed to go out with your friends because your partner is too jealous, or if your partner controls your access to money, then you could be in an unhealthy relationship. Financial and emotional abuse are also forms of domestic abuse.
Other signs of an unhealthy relationship can be:
If you are a victim of domestic violence and abuse, or think you know someone who might be, it’s important to know how you can ask for help or report any risks.
The only person to blame for domestic violence is the abuser. Motivating a person to change their behaviour is not the responsibility of anyone else, and no-one should continue to live in an abusive relationship in the hope that their partner will change.
The effects of domestic violence and abuse vary but it’s important that anyone affected by this doesn’t feel that they have to suffer in silence. If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are worried that your relationship is unhealthy, you can:
Domestic violence and abuse can have lasting and harmful effects on children – and witnessing domestic violence is a form of child abuse.
Children who see domestic violence and abuse in their home are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children can experience this in lots of different ways. For example, they might:
If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be, it is important that they are protected from harm.
Having a safety plan can help to protect someone from domestic violence and abuse in the future, and help them to know who to contact if they need help or are planning to leave their relationship.
Anyone affected by domestic violence and abuse can:
Online grooming is a form of child sexual exploitation where someone builds an emotional connection with a child for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking.
Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know – for
example a family member, friend or professional.
Online grooming can occur anywhere where a private conversation is being held. Chat facilities give an impression of talking to someone in private, and this can lead to people building up a relationship and confiding in each other.
Groomers target children anywhere with a chat facility, including:
Communication on the internet is public and perceived as anonymous which can dupe children into a false sense of security. It is important to remember that it is very difficult to verify that the person you are talking to online, is actually who they say they are.
Groomers sometimes use false identities or fake profiles and photos to talk to young people online, sometimes even posing as another child. They manipulate children into trusting them, and then get them to disclose personal information or to take part in activities they would never usually do. A groomer may force a child to:
Groomers may coerce a child to take part in sexual abuse by threatening to send copies of pictures, videos or conversations to the child’s families or friends.
How children can stay safe online
Feeling under extreme emotional or mental pressure and inability to cope with those feelings lead to stress.
Several things can cause stress including relationships, work and money. While stress itself is not an illness; it can affect how you feel, behave, develop your immune system and even how your body works.
Stress can lead to many health and mental conditions such as anxiety, mood swings, heart problems, headaches, muscle tension or pain and dizziness to name a few.
Instead of adopting unhealthy methods such as drinking or smoking, recognising the signs and symptoms of stress can help you figure out ways to cope.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers. Things you might want to write down include:
You can use the diary to work out what triggers your stress, work out how you operate under pressure and develop better coping mechanisms.
Exercise won’t make your stress disappear but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.
The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.
Have some ‘me time’
Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time doing things we really enjoy.
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. Over the long term, these won’t solve your problems – they’ll just create new ones.
Help other people
There is evidence that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.
If you experience stress, anxiety or other mental health problems, there are a number of national organisations which can offer you advice and support, as well as giving you details of local services near you:
Anxiety UK: 0844 477 5774
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Anxiety Alliance: 0845 296 7877
No Panic: 0844 967 4848
OCD Action: 0845 390 623
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