Is someone new showing you lots of attention?

We all like to feel wanted but if someone new has suddenly started showing you lots of attention ask yourself why – what might they want from you in return?

Are you being given nice things?

Does someone give you things like phone credit, food, clothes, cigarettes, alcohol or drugs? This can feel good at first but if they start asking for sex or sexual acts in return then this is sexual exploitation.

Have you been offered lifts?

Has someone you’ve only recently met started to offer you lifts in their car? Have they suggested you visit new places together? Do they sometimes expect something in return?

Are you being secretive about who you're with?

Are you scared to tell the truth about who you’ve been spending time with and what you’ve been doing? Or, are you being told to keep a new friendship or relationship secret?

Do you do things to keep someone happy?

Does someone flip between being very nice to you and very nasty? Do you feel under pressure to do the things they want to keep them happy? Someone who really cares about you won’t ever force or pressurise you to do something you don’t want to do.

Is it getting harder to see your family or friends?

Is someone telling you that your family or friends don’t love you or understand you like they do – and that they’re the only person you need? Have they suggested that your family and friends are holding you back or treating you like a child? Someone who’s trying to control you may say these sorts of things.

Are you being threatened?

An offender might try many different ways to control you. This can be everything from making promises they don’t keep to making you feel guilty, threatening you or becoming violent.

Is someone encouraging you to drink or take drugs?

Is someone encouraging you to take alcohol or drugs and telling you to relax and enjoy yourself? Do you go along with it to block out how you really feel about the things they’re asking you to do in return?

Has your mood changed?

Do you feel scared, ashamed or depressed? Or, are you frightened to be on your own?

Are you behaving differently?

Are you hanging around with new people at new places? Have they got you into a new kind of music? Do they ask you to dress in a certain way?