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What’s love got to do with It?

Campaign to promote awareness of dating abuse


Written by Maire Rowland and posted in news


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Is your relationship making you feel comfortable and happy? If something isn't sitting quite right with you and you feel worried about yours or a friends relationship you may be involved or witnessing a toxic relationship. COPE Galway have just launched 'What's Love got to do with it?" an  awareness campaign to highlight dating abuse...

According to COPE Galway's website, a happy relationship is when your partner:

  • Respects your right to change your mind
  • Respects your privacy and your friends
  • Respects and trusts you
  • Respects what you are comfortable with.

An unhealthy relationship can be difficult to spot, start by asking yourself questions about your partner and their behaviour towards you...

Do you feel?

  • Lonely when you stop me from spending time with my friends
  • Confused when one minute you love me and the next you hurt me
  • Pressured when you insist on having sex, or watching pornographic movies
  • Trapped when you say you love me and can’t go on without me
  • Controlled when you’re constantly texting and checking up on me
  • Embarrassed when you slag me off and put me down in front of our friends

What counts as dating abuse?

Physical Abuse
Involves violent or threatening contact with another persons body. This can be slapping, kicking, pinching, punching, etc..

Verbal & Emotional Abuse
Involves the spoken word. This can be calling names, making you feel low about yourself and playing mind games...

Sexual Abuse
Being forced to take part in any sexual activity when you don't want to or being exposed against your will to sexually explicit material.

How will I know if my friend is in an unhealthy relationship?

  • Their partner is always checking up on them, calling and texting demanding to know who they are with.
  • Their partner is calling them names and putting them down.
  • Their partner acts very jealous when they are talking to other people.
  • They apologise and make excuses for their partner.
  • My friend has stopped doing things they previously enjoyed doing.
  • They feel it's 'too much too soon'
  • I have seen their partner lose their temper and maybe hit or break things when mad.
  • Their weight or appearance has changed a lot.
  • My friend is worried about making their partner angry.
  • They have injuries that can't be explained.

What should I do if I am concerned about a friend?

  • Break the silence.
  • Express concern.
  • Let your friend know it won't get better by itself.
  • Write down supports your friend already has.
  • Don't look for reasons for the abuse.
  • Be patient.
  • Tell your friend about places they can go to talk.
  • Don't try to deal with this by yourself!
  • DON'T ask what caused it - there is NO excuse for abuse.

What should I do if I am concerned about my own relationship?

  • Change the number of your mobile, and always have credit to be able to call someone who could help you if you need help.
  • Where could you go quickly to get away from an abusive person?
  • Keep a diary describing the abuse.
  • Tell a friend or someone you trust about the violence and abuse.
  • Talk to an adult you trust about what is worrying you.
  • Think about who you can call for a lift home if you are stuck.

To find out more about the campaign and about who you can contact if you are experiencing or witnessing dating abuse visit COPE Galway's website.

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Published February 16th, 2015
Last updated October 27th, 2015
Tags mental health relationships bytes domestic violence activism wellbeing
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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