Loved or used?

loved or used

We have lots of different relationships, with parents, sisters, brothers, friends and partners.  Learning what relationships you want is all part of growing up.

Some people may pretend to be a friend or partner so they can use you and force you to do sexual things, this is sexual exploitation and it's a crime, it happens to boys and girls.

They might bribe you by giving you money, presents or alcohol and drugs to get what they want.  Or they could use threats - 'I'll send that sext to your family' - and violence.

 A new friend?  Alarm bells!

Giving you presents - such as alcohol, jewellery or money, these can make you feel good but if they want sex in return it's not a relationship it's exploitation.

Trying to keep you away from your friends or family - so when the relationship starts to go wrong you have no-one to talk to and they can carry on exploiting you.

Giving you another mobile phone  - making you keep it secret so they can call you whenever they want.

Telling you to keep your relationship secret - if it's a good relationship why keep it a secret.

Nice then nasty - if they switch between being nice and nasty and you feel that you have to do things to make them happy this can be an alarm bell that they are trying to control you.

Promises and threats - people who abuse other people make promises they cannot or will not keep or threaten people to get what they want.

Asking for sexts or to film sexual acts -  do you know for sure these are not going to be shared with other people or used to make you do sexual things with them or with other people?

Trust your instincts - If someone makes you feel unsafe, scared or under pressure to do something you don't want to do - listen to yourself and get help.  
 

    


Don't wait to see if it gets better talk to a trusted adult or a friend.

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