Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 19:24 UK

Abusive relationships: Your stories


A third of teenage girls suffer sexual abuse in a relationship and a quarter experience violence at the hands of their boyfriends, according to a new survey by the NSPCC and University of Bristol.

Here BBC News website readers share their experiences.


I am only 18 and have experienced violence in relationships with two different boyfriends, one of whom I only broke up with after he attempted to rape me. I am not a weak person, but there is something insidious about violence in relationships. The violence I experienced lowered my self-esteem, encouraging me to enter into relationships with other aggressive boys. It's a vicious circle. The issue of girls being pressured into sex is an old one, but the fact is that by 2009 more respect should be shown towards girls by teenage boys. I'm delighted the government is taking notice of this issue. Gender equality may be making advances but I can't help feeling that it is a long way from being achieved.
Female, 18, Nottingham, UK

He was clever and never hit me in the face.

I was 15 when I met my ex-boyfriend. At first he was charming but within two months I wasn't allowed to see my friends without a time limit or him being there. After four months he made me drop out of college and spend all day everyday with him in the pub. He then started to get violent with me and made me feel like I deserved it. He was clever and never hit me in the face, only the tummy or thighs. After I left him he'd get drunk and turn up outside my house but he soon got bored. He'd always said I would never find somebody to love me but he was so wrong. I have been in a relationship with my current partner for a year and a half now and I've never been happier.
Anon Female, 17, UK

I went through this when I was 17. My boyfriend became aggressive and abusive when he couldn't get his own way. It affected me for many years because he had me thinking it was all my fault. Like many, I didn't go to the police. Nobody should be forced into a sexual relationship when they're not ready, male or female.
Anon female, Worcestershire

If I had better education at school about the right to say no, it perhaps wouldn't have happened.

I was bullied into sex with my previous boyfriend several times, which seemed to come from peer pressure from his friends. If I refused he would sulk, and cause a row for which I would have to apologise the next day. One night he raped me, it was almost 30 years ago now. I had pushed it to the back of my mind until recently. After that I never saw him again. He married another woman. I hope she never finds out how violent and sulky he can be.
Anon female, UK

Although I'm now in my 50s, I went through considerable pressure for sex from the age of about 14, which then turned into violent sexual abuse. I feel that if I had better education at school about feelings, emotions and the right to say no, it perhaps wouldn't have happened. 14 then was probably more vulnerable than now.
Anon female, UK

I am so glad this has come to light. When I was a teenager I fell into an abusive relationship which ended in rape. When I confided in a group of five friends, a further two of those had also been raped by past boyfriends. Unless awareness is raised about how common this is, it's just going to continue happening.
Anon Female, UK

One of the factors that helped was that I could talk to my parents.

When I was 15/16 I was in a relationship with a boy of my own age. He was a lovely guy until it came to the bedroom. I remember feeling pressurised into having sex with him when I knew that I wasn't ready and I couldn't see it lasting with him. I ended up not going through with it and leaving him. I think one of the factors that helped was that I could talk to my parents. In my opinion if more parents were open with their teenage sons and daughters, they would be in a better position to help them.
Anon female, Derby, England


It is not just females who are affected by this. I was in a relationship for a number of months, where I was hit, punched, scratched, and had things thrown at me. I didn't go out several times as my face was too bruised. I was lucky that I got out when I could, but many males don't do this as they love their partner to much. I'm sure many males out there will agree with me on this.
Anon male, Birmingham

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific