7 kinds of unhealthy or abusive relationship

Even the best relationships aren’t easy all of the time but there are certain tell-tale signs that a relationship isn’t normal – or worse, that it’s abusive.

While you might be tempted to put someone’s behaviour down to them having an off day, you should never put up with a bad or abusive relationship. It can destroy your self-confidence, cut you off from your friends and family, and even put your life at risk.

  1. 1


    You’re criticised or made to feel stupid. The decisions you make are controlled by the other person: from where you go and what you wear, to how you spend your money.

  2. 2


    You’re physically hit, kicked, slapped or punched – whether it’s a one-off incident or on a regular basis.

  3. 3


    You’re forced to do something sexual that you don’t want to do, either for your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, or for one or more of their friends.

  4. 4


    You feel afraid of the other person because of the nasty things they say to you or message you.

  5. 5


    You’re made to feel guilty or jealous so that you’ll do things you don’t really want to do. Or, you might be given gifts then be expected to do something in return.

  6. 6


    You’re allowed to see and speak to your friends or family less and less. Sometimes, not at all.

  7. 7

    Lack of communication

    Your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend keeps secrets from you or won’t talk to you about the things that are going on. Things that might be worrying or upsetting you.

Think that you might be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship? Talk to an adult you can trust. Or, call one of the organisations who are specially trained to deal with these sorts of problems. Find out more here