Domestic abuse - guidance for young people

What domestic abuse is, and how to get help if you are experiencing it.


If any of these things happen in your home you might be living with domestic abuse:

  • Family members get sworn at or called names
  • Adults argue or fight a lot
  • Someone gets slapped or kicked
  • Someone smashes or breaks things in the house when they are angry
  • Someone in your family feels scared or gets hurt

Domestic abuse usually happens between adults who live together. It might involve one adult hurting another, being unkind or threatening or frightening them. Although domestic abuse is usually a man hurting a woman, it can also be a woman hurting a man.  It can also involve brothers and sisters, uncles and other family members.

Domestic abuse harms children when they hear or see it going on, and sometimes they get caught in the middle of a fight.

Adults in families often try to keep the domestic abuse a secret and might ask you to keep it a secret too.  However it is very important that you talk to someone you can trust so that you can get help for yourself or anyone who is being hurt in your family.  You and everyone in your family has the right to feel safe and happy at home.

Where to get help

If you think your parents, carers or you are in an abusive relationship and you want to stop the abuse or leave, there are a number of agencies that can help. You are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence.

In an emergency please call 999.

Childline: 0800 1111

You can find further sources of information on our links page.