How to check your relationship for 'dating abuse'

Vogue is backing the Women's Aid campaign
Vogue is backing the Women's Aid campaign

We've teamed up with Women's Aid to help their campaign to combat ‘Dating Abuse’ and ‘Digital Abuse’ – two areas of domestic violence that are on the rise.

In today's paper, Vogue Williams speaks to victims of domestic abuse and hears how Women's Aid is helping them get their lives back.

It is also the start of a Valentine's Week campaign to shine a spotlight on the dark side of Ireland’s dating scene.

The Sunday World is backing Women’s Aid’s ‘2in2u’ campaign which will launch this week to highlight the warning signs of abusive relationships to young women.

Shockingly it will underline how there are few laws aimed at protecting women who are being abused by boyfriends.

And it reveals a rise in the alarming crime of cyber stalking and digital abuse.

Women’s Aid runs the national 24-hour helpline for domestic violence abuse as well as one-to-one meetings and support for women going to court and trying to get out of their situations.

They also provide a simple test for those who are concerend about their partner's behaviour.

Does your boyfriend complain about your friends and say you spend too much time with them?
A             No, he likes my friends and knows I love hanging out with them and respects that.
B              Sometimes, and he always insists on coming on my nights out.  
C              Yes, he says they don’t like him, that they bitch about me behind my back, or that they are trying to break us up.           
Does he pass comment on how you look or dress?
A             He gives me compliments, but that’s it really. 
B              Yes, he says I am either too tarty or too frumpy. I can’t please him.            
C              Yes, he wants to pick what I wear all the time.
Does he complain any time you spend time away from him?
A             No, he knows I’m involved in other things and respects that - he has his own life too.           
B              Sometimes - he’s only happy when I spend time with him.          
C              Yes, he gets jealous when I am away from him and doesn’t talk to me for days afterwards.
Does he send you constant texts checking up on you when you’re not with him?
A             We keep in touch, but no more than I do with other friends.       
B              Sometimes, he likes to know what I’m up to.  
C              Yes, he is always texting me - it never stops.
Does he ever go through your texts or emails to see who you’ve been talking to?
A             No way, it’s my phone, so it’s private.              
B              Yes, he says we shouldn’t have any secrets.    
C              Always. He demanded all my passwords.
Has your boyfriend ever used social media to upset or embarrass you?
A             No, we share our photos and travels, it’s great fun.       
B              He’s not happy when I accept new friends online, especially male friends.               
C              Yes, he demanded my password so he can check private messages. He has also threatened to post up private photos if I break up with him.
Do you feel like you are being watched and monitored online?
A             No, not at all. We joke about how much time we both spend on our smart phones.               
B              I’m not sure. He seems to know a lot about my activity online when he questions me about who I’ve been in touch with.              
C              Yes, I’m afraid he has installed something on my phone as he always knows where I am and what I have texted friends about.
Do you feel afraid to disagree or feel frightened by your boyfriend’s temper?
A             No, we have our disagreements but we both respect one another’s feelings and opinions.   
B              Sometimes, if he is upset about something he can be difficult to talk to.   
C              Always, he has a really bad temper and I am always walking on eggshells.
Does your boyfriend ever hit, kick, or shove you?
A             No, I feel physically safe in the relationship.   
B              Only once but I am afraid he’ll do it again.      
C              Often, but he tells me I made him do it.
Has your boyfriend ever forced or pressured you to do anything sexual?
A             No, never.             
B              Not physically but he has guilted me into doing stuff.  
C              Yes.
Do you feel afraid to break up with your boyfriend for any reason?
A             No, I would feel able to do so if I wanted.       
B              Yes, I tried to break up before but he said he couldn’t live without me.     
C              Yes, I would be afraid he would really hurt me as he has a bad temper.
If you answered B or C to any of the questions, there’s a chance that your boyfriend is too controlling and that your relationship is not healthy.
Remember - if it feels wrong, it probably is.

If anything in your relationship makes you feel anxious or worried call Women’s Aid on 1800 341 900 or visit