A young person who has benefited from Centrepoint's healthy relationships work.

Breaking the cycle of abuse

This year, 25 November-10 December marks the international campaign of 16 Days Against Domestic Violence.

Marianne and Hayley, healthy relationship advisors at Centrepoint, explain our work supporting young people to spot the warning signs of abuse and identify behaviours that make them feel unsafe.

In the UK, 16-19 year-olds experience the highest rates of domestic abuse from a partner or a family member – around one in eight of young women, and one in 15 of young men. The next highest group is 20-24 year-olds.
Despite these staggering rates, there are many barriers that prevent young people from accessing domestic violence services. Young people often worry about being judged, not believed if they talk to a professionals, or fear a further backlash from their abuser.
Even when young people have the courage to seek help, practical issues such as not having a reliable phone number or means of transport can be major hurdles to overcome.
To make things worse, abusive behaviours such as jealousy and control are often normalised in young people’s relationships. This makes it more difficult for young people to understand that what they’re experiencing is not OK.
For 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence, Centrepoint’s healthy relationship advisors are putting on interactive events for our young people to raise awareness of this kind of abuse and to let young people know we’re here to help.

Centrepoint’s healthy relationships advisors

At Centrepoint we want young people to know that abuse is not their fault, there is support available and there is a way out.
We know it takes time for young people who are experiencing abuse to build trust with professionals. In London and Barnsley, Centrepoint’s healthy relationships advisors challenge stigma, break down barriers and discuss the impact of abusive relationships on young people.
In Bradford, Sunderland and Manchester, we ensure young people are supported by like-minded partner organisations and specialist services that share our vision.
Through confidential one-to-one sessions and group workshops, our healthy relationship advisors provide young people with a safe space to discuss their relationships without fear of judgement or blame. We also advise our staff on how to support young people experiencing these issues.

Building trust

Domestic abuse can be an isolating and traumatic experience for many young people.
Centrepoint’s healthy relationship advisors help young people to engage into specialist services that would otherwise have been difficult for them to access on their own.
We also work with local domestic violence services and independent domestic violence advocates to create a network of professionals who can support young people on their journey out of abuse – both during their time at Centrepoint and beyond.
We support young people to gain tools and confidence to speak out if a relationship escalates, and to know who to talk to if this happens.
Surrounded by a network of professionals, friends and trusted adults – young people have more opportunity to form equal, supportive and caring relationships in the future.

For support for yourself or someone you know, please contact:

0808 2000 247
Confidential advice and support for women experiencing domestic violence and for those calling on their behalf.
0808 801 0327
Confidential advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse from a current or ex-partner.
0800 999 5428
Support for LGBTQ+ people who have experienced domestic abuse, hate crime and sexual violence.

Health and wellbeing

Being homeless takes its toll on young people, putting them at risk of health problems.

Good health is the foundation on which they can build their confidence, skills and independence.

Learn more