How do you know if your relationship is healthy? It might seem like a strange question to ask, but it’s a really important one. Violent and controlling behaviour in relationships is really common, in Australia one in three women has experienced physical violence from a partner or ex partner since the age of fifteen. So it’s important to know the difference between a fight and violent behaviour.

This video has a bunch of useful information to help you recognise the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and places you can go for help if you , or someone you know, is experiencing violence.

 To watch a HD version of this video, please click here.

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Do you ever feel like something isn’t quite right in your relationship? Most couples have fights but sometimes there’s something a lot more serious going on. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, especially in our most intimate relationships. We all have the right to be taken seriously, to make our own decisions and be able to say ‘no’. If your partner doesn’t treat you with respect you could be in an abusive relationship.

My name’s Lucie and today I’m going to talk about relationship violence.

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What is Relationship Violence?

Relationship violence is when someone uses violence to control or scare their partner. It’s a pattern of behaviour, so it happens more than once. Violence isn’t just physical, there are many different forms of violent behaviour including:

  • Physical abuse​­: physical violence or threats of physical violence like punching, kicking, pushing and slapping.
  • Emotional abuse:​­ using put downs or emotional blackmail to hurt someone or make them feel stupid like constantly calling them dumb or threatening to commit suicide if they leave.
  • Social abuse:​­ stopping someone from seeing their friends or family, having a job or doing the activities they want to.
  • Financial abuse:​­ controlling someone’s money, or shared money, so they do not have control over their own finances.
  • Sexual abuse: ​­forcing someone to participate in sexual acts without their consent.

In Australia, one in three women have experienced physical violence, and one in five sexual violence since the age of fifteen. This kind of violence can happen to anyone, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you’re experiencing violence in your relationship it’s not your fault. You have the right to be treated with respect especially by those closest to you.

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Is fighting healthy?

Although everyone fights with their partner now and then, if it happens a lot it could be a sign that your relationship isn’t working. Although being in a relationship means sometimes compromising, decisions should be made equally. You shouldn’t have to give up your friends or your interests for your partner. If you feel overwhelmed by your partner’s needs and demands. Or like you don’t know who you are anymore, it might be time to think about where your relationship is heading.

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Warning Signs

Your partner being overly jealous or controlling is a pretty big warning sign that they may become abusive. Like if they try to stop you doing the things you like, or get jealous when you
hang out with your friends. If this is happening you should think about whether you want be in a relationship with someone who treats you that way.

Other warning signs include your partner:

  • putting you down or criticising you.
  • constantly checking up on your whereabouts.
  • making you feel guilty about going to work, school or socialising.
  • forcing you to have sex, or do other sexual things you don’t want to.
  • and threatening to physically harm you, your family members or pets.

If your partner does any of these things it might be a good idea to try to get some support.

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Where to go for help

If you are experiencing any type of violence in your relationship, the best thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Try talking to an adult you trust, like a parent, teacher or school counsellor.

If you are ever in immediate danger you should call the police on 000. You can call Kids Helpline on for confidential counselling and advice.

If one of your friends is experiencing violence in their relationship try to support them as much as you can. Let them know there are places they can go for support like Kids Helpline.

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Protections Orders

You might be able to apply for a Protection Order (also known as an intervention order) through the police. This will stop your partner from contacting you or being near you. Protection orders are different in every state. Check out to find out how they work, and how to apply for one, in your state.

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Self Care

If you are experiencing violence in your relationship, or if you’re supporting someone who is, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. This can help you deal with the stress of what’s going on in your life. Self care can be simple things like making sure you get enough sleep, eating regular meals and exercise. Taking some time out to do things you enjoy is another way to reduce stress, do something like having a bath, going for a walk or watching a movie you like. But really it’s up to you and what you think will help you feel a better.

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For more information about relationship violence check out And if you would like to see more tips, links and videos check out our website You can also connect with Rosie on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram. Thanks for watching, stay safe and I’ll see you next time.

If you think you, or someone you know, is in an abusive relationship there are places you can go for help and support. If you are ever in immediate danger you should call the police on 000. You can call 1800 RESPECT or Kids Helpline for confidential counselling and advice.

If one of your friends is experiencing violence in their relationship try to support them as much as you can, be there for them and listen to them. Let them know there are places they can go for support like Kids Helpline.

Check out our posts on Abusive RelationshipsSex and Consent, and Love and Other Stuff for more information.

Video credits:

Directed, written and edited by Ally Oliver-Perham & Georgie Proud
Intro credits by Room3 Video Production Studio, with thanks to Northcote High School students
Presented by Lucie Cutting
Filmed by Breeana Dunbar

This video was made possible through a grant from the US Consulate General Melbourne. 

Click here for a list of Support Services.

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