Advice for young people

Call for help now:

Bradford Survive and Thrive One Front Door helpline:

0808 2800 999

National Domestic Abuse Helpline:

0808 2000 247
In an emergency, call 999

You don’t have to be married or living with your boyfriend or girlfriend to experience ‘domestic abuse’. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is violent – including pushing you or making you do things you don’t want to do, or controlling – such as telling you what friends you can have, or going through your phone – then this is abusive behaviour.

If you’ve not had a boyfriend or girlfriend before, it can be difficult to know what is normal, and what isn’t. So we’re going to provide you with some information on what a healthy relationship feels like, and what isn’t ok. 

If you are unhappy or scared and you need to speak to someone, visit our Useful Contacts page, and find a helpline which is best for you. 

The charity My CWA have launched a really useful website, called Act on it Now, full of information, advice and even a quiz, all about healthy relationships for young people.

What is consent?

Consent is an essential part of a healthy relationship.

  • Consent in a dating relationship is when partners mutually agree to sexual activity. This can include hugging, kissing, touching or sex.
  • Asking for consent is not only a sign of respect, it is required by law.
  • Any sexual activity without consent is sexual assault.
  • Not checking in with your partner can mean that you might be hurting someone you care about without even knowing that you are doing so. 

When it comes to sex, what does consent mean?

Consent is happily giving permission, or agreeing to do something. In lots of cases, giving consent needs to be considered and thought about carefully.

  • To give consent, it is important to ensure that there is no pressure or coercion from anyone.
  • The person seeking consent must be sure that the person giving consent is happy about their decision. 
  • The person seeking consent must be sure that the person giving consent is happy about their decision.
  • Having sex without consent is rape. Rape and sexual assault is never the victims fault. Rape and sexual assault is never the victims fault.


When it comes to sex and physical closeness it is important to feel safe. Trust and respect should be shown beforehand. It is important that each other’s decisions on sex are respected.

Good communication between partners will help ensure that both people’s feelings and concerns about sex are considered and discussed. It is a good idea to check with one another if they are happy and comfortable in the moment.

Reading body language is also important, but is sometimes difficult. If a person is relaxed it is likely that they feel comfortable. If they are tense, they may be nervous, or frightened and are trying hard not to show how they really feel.

That is why it is good to ask…If you are not sure how they are feeling – you should stop.

You don’t have to, it’s your choice

A person doesn’t have to have sex. Many people prefer to wait until they feel completely comfortable. Everyone have the right to say ‘no’ to sex or physical closeness.

You control your body and have the right to decide what you are comfortable with. Nobody has the ‘right’ to have sex, even if you are in a relationship. It is something you do together, not what one person ‘gets’ or ‘is owed’. Sex should never be used to try and control somebody.