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What is a good relationship?

A good relationship means trusting each other and being able to take things at your own pace. Talk to each other and be open and honest and respect each other’s opinions.

Being good friends is an important part of a caring relationship as well as having the freedom to do things that you want and spend time with the people you want to. It’s important to have your own interests but also some shared interests so you can have fun together.

Most importantly you should feel safe, secure and happy.

What is a bad relationship?

This is probably the opposite to the above and could include some or all of the things below.

Your partner:

  • is verbally aggressive or threatens to hurt you
  • bullies you and makes you feel bad
  • gets angry or jealous when you talk to other people
  • makes you do things you don’t want to
  • blackmails you or threatens you
  • hurts you, your friends, family, pets or property
  • posts horrible things about you online or sends private pictures of you to others.
  • always blames you
  • stops you seeing your friends or family
  • makes you feel afraid
  • teases, bullies and puts you down
  • hits you
  • embarrasses you in front of others

If any of the above is happening to you, remember that it’s not your fault. You need to talk to someone about it because it’s not right.

Where can I get advice?

There are people and helplines you can talk to confidentially – either about a bad relationship you or a friend are in or if you are worried about your own behaviour.

You don’t have to be living with someone for the relationship to be abusive. Abuse can happen in a relationship between a man and a woman, between two men, or between two women and can even happen between friends It doesn’t have to be physical abuse for it to be domestic abuse – it might be emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or psychological abuse. This is never OK and you don’t have to suffer alone.

The BAVA website has lots more information about abusive relationships and local services that can help.

Counselling Directory is a confidential service that encourages those in need to seek help. People can visit their website, enter their postcode and find a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist nearby who specialises in the area of need. The site also serves as an information hub for people to read mental health-related articles and news, as well as to find local events.

A film about relationships was created as part of the ‘What Would You Do?’ 2017 programme, a successful and creative intervention project based in schools to help reduce crime across Bristol communities

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