On the day that lovers and couples declare their undying love for each other we are reminding those who may not be in a healthy relationship that help is at hand. 

There are those in relationships where they feel uncomfortable, unhappy and even afraid.   This type of relationship is unhealthy. 

So what is an unhealthy relationship?  Signs to look out for include:  

A partner who makes you feel bad about yourself
One that ridicules you and calls you names
A boy or girlfriend who tells you how to dress, think and feel
One which controls who you talk to, checks your texts, emails and social media
A partner who does not agree to compromise - it must always be their way
One who threatens you
And... somebody who hits or physically hurts you in anyway

In an unhealthy relationship there is often one person who seeks to control the other. Controlling behaviour can take the form of physical, verbal or emotional harm.  Whereas a health one should look like this: 

A partner should make you feel good about yourself
A boy or girlfriend should value your opinions
A relationship should be a positive experience for you and your friends and family
A partner should help you to succeed and should be respectful of you, your friends and your family
These points don't just apply to romantic relationships - they relate to all relationships people have through their lives;  with parents, families, schoolmates, friends and work colleagues.  

Det Supt Ben Mant from Wiltshire Police's Public Protection Department said:  "A relationship should be equal and respectful.  Nobody has the right to ask you to do something that you don't want to. 
"Often a celebratory time like Valentine's Day, birthdays or Christmas can focus our minds on what our relationships are like and we at times all question what we have.  But if any of the above points about unhealthy relationships strike a chord, please be mindful that help is at hand. You don't have to suffer in silence." 

In relation to young people and children, Det Insp Chris Feerick said: "Valentine's Day may appear to be the domain of older teenagers and adults but children can experience unhealthy, even abusive relationships, making them feel vulnerable and lonely.  
"Sexting is an example of how youngsters can be manipulated by others and felt pressurised to do things they don't want to do.   Having indecent images of a child's body shared across social media and the internet is illegal but also extremely unpleasant for the individual involved.  
"My message is if this happens to you or you feel awkward in anyway when you are in a relationship of any sort - please seek help." 

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner, said:  "Not everyone enjoys a positive, healthy relationship but that doesn't mean to say they have to endure it. 
"Please be mindful that help is always available from many agencies, including the police.  
"My office works with many partners like Swindon's Women's Aid and Splitz when it comes to domestic abuse - but an abusive relationship doesn't necessarily have to be an extreme, physical violent one - abuse takes many forms and it can often be very subtle. 
"If you are about to enter in to a new relationship or are suspicious of your partner's past and you want to know more about them, don't forget the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme - known as Clare's Law - which enables you to do exactly this.  Under Clare's Law, you can make enquiries about a partner, or the partner of a close friend or family member whose behaviour may be causing concern.
"Remember, you don't have to suffer in silence." 

You can report to the police by calling 101, 999 in an emergency, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 
Other help agencies include: Relate.org.uk, Victim Support.org.uk, and for younger people, Fearless.org or Childline on 0800 1111.

Icon for pdf Wiltshire Police has also produced a leaflet. [605.03KB].

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