Young Men's Health

Abusive Relationships


Establishing relationships is a big part of moving from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. Unfortunately, some people may find themselves in a relationship that involves abuse or violence. It can be especially hard for guys to tell someone that they're being abused, but it's important to get help. This guide offers some helpful information on identifying an abusive relationship and how to get help for yourself or for a friend.


What is an abusive relationship?

Abuse in a relationship can be both physical and emotional. Remember that emotional harm and the stress it causes can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Some signs of abusive relationships include:

How can I get help?

If someone is harming you or threatening you at home, school, work, or anywhere else - get help. Talk to your health care provider, guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. These people can help you with your concerns. If you ever feel that you are in danger, call 911 and explain your situation.


If you're abusing anyone (or even thinking about it) - get help. You may not understand what makes you feel angry or violent and probably wish you could stop. You may be worried about other people knowing you have a problem. If you feel you have trouble controlling your temper, there is help available. Talk to your health care provider, a counselor, or a trusted adult who can help you find the help you need.


There may be local resources in your community that you can call. Here are some national hotlines that you can call 24 hours a day to get help and advice. 1-866-331-9474

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663


Other organizations that can help include:

Break the Cycle

Men Can Stop Rape

National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


If you're concerned about abusive relationships, here's a tip on how to bring it up with your provider: "I'm in a situation (or relationship) where I feel disrespected".


Written by the CYWH and YMH Staff at Boston Children's Hospital


Updated: 11/26/2014


Related Guides:

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are fun and make you feel good about yourself. You can have a healthy relationship with anyone in your life, including your family, friends and dating partners...


Dating Violence

Dating violence can be emotional, physical, or both. Some people believe that emotional abuse isn't as serious as physical abuse, but this isn't true. Emotional abuse and physical abuse are both very serious...



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