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Domestic abuse and young people

If you are under 18 and are experiencing domestic abuse GDASS offers various programmes of support for you.

Domestic abuse could happen to anyone. It is never acceptable and is definitely not healthy. Abuse does not always mean being hit, it also includes sexual abuse and bullying.

If you are feeling intimidated by a partner (or ex-partner or family member), or they have made you feel frightened, then you may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is not always carried out by a partner, it could be an ex-partner or a family member. It also includes forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It can happen to people who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Your sexuality does not make you more or less likely to experience domestic abuse.

This page will provide you with some information about domestic abuse and what to do if you, or someone you know, is experiencing it. It will offer you resources to help you to understand what is happening and guide you to useful websites and support.




I think I am experiencing domestic abuse

  • Are you feeling scared?
  • Are you feeling intimidated or threatened?
  • Are you being stopped from seeing your friends or family?
  • Have you been forced to do something you don’t want to do?
  • Have you been hurt or has someone threatened to hurt you?
  • Is someone trying to take you abroad when you don’t want to?
  • Are you expected to take part in an arranged marriage that you haven’t agreed to?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Firstly, you have done the right thing by looking for information about what is happening to you. A great first step. There is a wealth of support and information available to you.




What does GDASS offer?

Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) offers group work and one-to-one support for young people who are experiencing domestic abuse.

The GDASS floating support team will work with anyone aged 16 and over. Your support will be designed around what you are worried about and will fit in around school, college or work.

GDASS have a specialist Young Persons Violence Advocate (YPVA) who will work with those assessed as being at high risk of serious harm. She has specialist training to help you to stay safe.




I think my friend is experiencing domestic abuse

Your friend may not be able to tell you that they are being abused. Here are some signs to look out for:

The perpetrator:

  • Talks over them
  • Pretends to be your friend
  • Tries to keep them away from you
  • Puts your friend down
  • Puts you down
  • Makes up rumours about you or your friend
  • Acts like they are better than everyone else.

Your friend:

  • Makes excuses for the perpetrator's behaviour
  • Doesn’t talk as much when the perpetrator is around
  • Changes their appearance (starts changing their clothes, or cuts their hair)
  • Appears lonely, or sad.
  • Stops spending time with you or their other friends.




What can I do to help my friend?

Bring up the subject
Ask them if they’re OK. Even if they don’t want to talk about it, they will know that you care about them

Offer support, not instructions
They are already experiencing control, be careful not to do the same. Let them know you are there for them whatever they decide to do.

Listen, Listen, Listen
Don’t judge them, it has taken a lot for them to talk to you. Listen to what they choose to tell you and offer them support as their friend.

Do not confront the abuser
This could make things worse for your friend and the abuser could try to isolate them more.

Help them to access support
There are services in place that can support your friend, you could help them to access them.




Useful websites

AVA Youth participation conference
Respect Yourself
Brook, the young people's sexual health & wellbeing charity
#Love Dont Feel Bad
Revenge Porn

This is ABUSE website



A site launched by young people to help educate their peers on FGM National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline

Useful phone numbers:

GDASS Young People’s Helpline: 01452 726 584
GDASS: 0845 602 9035
Gloucestershire Police Non-Emergency Number: 101
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre: 01452 536 770
Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
NSPCC FGM helpline: 0800 028 3550
Karma Nirvana: Forced Marriage and HBV support: 0800 5999 247

Specialised Male Victims:
ManKind: 01823-334-244
SurvivorsUK: txt helpline 020-3322-1860
Splitz Support Service – The Turnaround Programme is a voluntary group for male perpetrators of domestic abuse who wish to change their behaviour.




Contact us

Phone: 01452 726570 or Email:

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