If you’re feeling unsafe at home, because of issues with family or a partner, it’s a pretty intense thing to have to deal with. If this is happening, it’s really important to reach out for advice and support.
1. Acknowledge the problem
The number one thing to remember is that you have a right to feel safe and secure in your own home. It can be strangely easy to adjust to living in an environment that is unsafe and unpredictable, but it’s important to recognise if your home situation is – or is potentially – harmful for you. Read more about violence and abuse, and how to recognise it, here.
2. Talk to someone and ask for help
If you’ve realised that things at home are pretty bad, it’s important to tell someone about what’s going on. A really good place to start is by calling or chatting online to 1800RESPECT. This national service specialises in domestic and family violence and sexual assault. They operate a 24/7 phone and chat line that you can access at any time from anywhere. They’ll be able to give you information, referrals to other services that can help you, and provide counselling. If it’s an emergency, dial 000.
3. Put some supports in place
Dealing with an unsafe home environment can trigger stacks of emotions. You might feel upset, stressed, reactive, angry or just plain exhausted. It’s common to feel scared, ashamed or worried about how people will react when you tell them, but it can be really helpful to talk and unload a bit of the weight.
Reach out to friends, extended family members or a trusted teacher, and let them know what you need – even if that’s just someone who will listen.
You can also head to the ReachOut forums if you want some anonymous support from supportive young people.
4. Get professional support
Feeling unsafe at home is a really tough thing to deal with. Even though it‘s not your fault, the situation can affect your mental health, and you may need to put some professional support in place. A counsellor or a psychologist can help you cope with the situation and deal with your emotions. Read up on different types of mental health professionals and how they can help here.
5. Build your own coping skills
When you’re dealing with really tough times at home, it may feel like things are totally out of control and it can be hard to know how to cope. While it can sometimes be tempting to block out the pain, it’s important to take positive steps so that you don’t actually end up making yourself feel worse. Find out how to build your coping skills here.