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Relationships and Adult Support

It is important the young people understand what a healthy relationship is and what consent looks like.

Talking About Healthy Relationships and Consent 

As your teen grows, you can be there to help them work through different situations or challenges. Talking to them about relationships and consent will help them understand how to take care of themselves and others.

Remember that your child may not always feel like talking or opening up. Be patient and make sure they know they can speak to you about anything.

Safe Space For Conversation

Start with an informal chat. Avoid putting pressure on your teenager to talk to you. Remember what it was like to be that age, and how you felt about speaking to your parent or carer.

Find a space that feels comfortable for you both. This could be on the sofa, playing a game, going for a walk or in the car.

If they decide to share their experiences with you, react in a calm and understanding way.

If they don’t seem open to talking, but you think they may need to communicate something to you, ask what suits them. Do they prefer video or text, for example?

Healthy Relationships

Give your child some examples of healthy and unhealthy behaviours.

A relationship is healthy when both people are:

  • Sharing tasks.

A relationship is unhealthy when someone is:

  • Isolating the other person (they might discourage them from seeing friends).
  • Passive-aggressive.
  • Self-centred, not considering the other’s needs.

Talk to your child about respect. Speak about gender equality and spotting sexual harassment. It can also help to understand what behaviour is involved in emotional abuse, as it’s not always easy to spot the signs.

Watch this video for more info on healthy relationships

Support in Sefton

If you child is 0-19 there are a range of services in Sefton that can support, you and the whole family

Enhanced Children's Team

The health visitor offers an early intervention visiting programme to young mums aged 19 and under who are pregnant with their first baby and mums who are over 19 years old with their first baby and who have an identified vulnerability.

Trans Support Service 

The Mersey Care Trans Support Service supports transgender, and gender non-conforming people aged 18 upwards living in Sefton by listening to and informing them of available options to relieve their gender distress and empowering them to move forward with their lives. You can usually be referred to the service by your GP, but you may also self-refer.

Dental Southport and Formby

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems unless you are advised to do so.

If you are not registered with a dentist, please visit the NHS find a dentist website

Urgent dental care for members of the public not registered with a dentist can be accessed via the helpline between the hours of 8.00am to 10.00pm every day, including weekends and Bank Holidays.

Cheshire and Merseyside helpline: 0161 476 9651


Mersey Care takes obligations to our ex-forces and their families very seriously. The range of local, confidential services, from talking therapies to help with addictions are provided by experienced and highly trained staff, many of whom are trained in armed forces community awareness or are armed forces community members themselves.

Domestic Abuse

Signs of Domestic Abuse  

Are you unsure if the relationship you are in or have previously been in is healthy or not? If you can identify one or more of the unhealthy signs it may mean that this relationship is abusive and we would urge you to seek support.  

Signs of a healthy relationship

  • Makes me feel safe
  • Makes me feel comfortable
  • Listens to me
  • Values my opinions
  • Supports what I want to do in my life
  • Is truthful with me
  • Admits to being wrong
  • Respects me
  • Always tries to understand how I feel
  • Likes that I have friends
  • Makes me laugh
  • Trusts me
  • Treats me as an equal
  • Respects my family
  • Understands my need for time alone or with family
  • Accepts me as I am

Signs of an unhealthy relationship 

  • Is possessive
  • Tries to control me
  • Gets violent, loses temper quickly
  • Always blames me
  • Is sexually demanding
  • Keeps me from seeing my friends and family
  • Makes all the decisions
  • Embarrasses me in front of others
  • Hits me
  • Makes me cry
  • Makes me feel afraid
  • Is always 'checking up' on me
  • Takes my money and other things
  • Threatens to leave me if I don’t do what I’m told
  • Teases, bullies and puts me down

What is Domestic Abuse?  

Domestic Abuse can take many forms: 

  • Physical attacks 
  • Harassment and stalking 
  • Threats 
  • Continual put downs and name calling 
  • Forced sexual abuse 
  • Threatening to take the children 
  • Isolation 
  • Financial control
  • Emotional abuse 
  • Forced marriage and ‘honour crimes’ 

Domestic Abuse has now been legally defined within the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021 as:  

Behaviour of a person towards another person is 'domestic abuse' if the two people are aged 16 or over, and are personally connected and the behaviour is abusive. 

Behaviour is abusive if it consists of any of the following, physical and/or sexual abuse, violent and/or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse. It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a series of incidents.   

This is now a statutory definition as set out in The Domestic Abuse Act 2021. For further details, including what we mean by personally connected please follow this link Domestic Abuse Act 2021 ( 

If you feel that you need further support or guidance please head over to Behind Closed Doors

Last Updated on Friday, September 8, 2023

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