Relationship abuse happens to both men and women, of all ages, in gay and straight relationships. It may not always involve physical violence. Threatening and controlling behaviour is also abuse, even if it leaves no physical marks. Abuse can be psychological, emotional, sexual or financial. Abuse is often invisible to those outside the relationship, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

It can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship, as the abuse can seriously damage self-esteem and confidence and make the person affected feel isolated and dependent on their partner. The abuser may even make the person affected feel they are to blame or confused about whether they really are being abused. Sometimes abusive behaviour like jealousy or possessiveness could be excused as a sign of love, but even if you believe the person hurting you loves you, it is still unacceptable. Blaming abuse on anger, jealousy, alcohol or the other person's behaviour is not a valid reason or excuse.

"If you are affected by relationship abuse, remember it’s not your fault, you’re not to blame and you’re not alone – it happens to many people and support is out there."

Help is available in Leeds for anyone experiencing relationship abuse, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or religion.

If you need urgent help, call 999 immediately.

If you call 999 you cannot speak due to being in danger you can press 55 after dialling 999 which will take you straight to the police. Find out more about how to use the Silent Solution here: https://www.thamesvalley.polic...

If you are unsure and need advice, please call Behind Closed Doors on 0113 222 4202

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