Young People's Views and Experiences of Relationships, Abuse and Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Closed 24 Jun 2022

Opened 28 Apr 2022


In 2020, East Sussex young people voted ‘Tackle Domestic Violence’ as their top priority concern for the East Sussex Youth Cabinet to work on. The Youth Cabinet’s role is to gather the views and experiences of young people and work with decision-makers to improve services.  

The link to the survey is at the bottom of the page but please read the below first.

Relationships, abuse and harmful sexual behaviors - what do these terms mean?


Healthy relationships are when

  • you are committed to each other
  • there is trust
  • you care for each other
  • you can talk to each other
  • there is mutual respect
  • you believe in each other and are supportive of one another
  • there is love and acceptance
  • you make shared decisions, and there is consent.

Consent: This is when one person agrees or gives permission to another person to do something. In a dating relationship this is when partners mutually agree to sexual activity. This can include hugging, kissing, touching or sex.

Find out more about healthy and unhealthy relationships.


Abuse can be anything someone else does or says to hurt you, or that leaves you feeling scared or upset. It can also be when your parent or carer isn’t looking after you. Abuse is never okay and is never your fault. For different types of abuse see here Something's not right | Childline

Being abused can happen to anyone. It’s not always easy to tell when it’s happening, especially if the person who’s abusing you is someone who loves you, or is someone you care about.

Relationship Abuse

Relationships should always leave you feeling safe, respected and free to be yourself.

Relationship abuse is when someone feels controlled, bullied or scared in their relationship, and it’s sometimes called domestic abuse.

Relationship abuse could be something in your relationship, or between your parents or carers. Whatever’s happening, it’s never okay for someone to make you feel unsafe or scared.

If you’re being hurt, put down, or pressured into doing things in your relationship, it’s important to get help.

Harmful sexual behaviours

‘Harmful sexual behaviours’ are sexual behaviours expressed by children and young people under the age of 18 years old that are inappropriate, and may be harmful or abusive towards themselves or others

These may include

  • Sexist or homophobic name calling and bullying
  • Sexual comments in person and on social media directed at students (such as ‘slag’, ‘sket’, ‘hoe’, ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’)
  • Rumours about other students’ sexual activity
  • Rating students (predominantly directed at girls in relation to attractiveness, but also “how much of a sket she is” and rating male students around masculinity/aggressive behaviour)
  • Controlling behaviour in relationships, including pressure from partners to share social media passwords and to take down images they didn’t like
  • Pressure to send sexual photos by another student
  • Sexual imagery shared on social media without consent
  • Inappropriate or unwanted touching or groping
  • Pressure to perform sexual acts
  • Sexual bullying, harassment and pressure

Sexual harassment: Any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes someone feel upset, scared, offended or humiliated. 

Sexual assault: When someone intentionally touches another person in a sexual manner, without that person's consent.

This survey is for young people aged 16 to 25 years old. There are 50 questions, plus 9 ‘About You’ questions.  It should take about 15 minutes to complete, and most questions are multiple choice.  

There is no back button in the survey and some questions have to be answered to move through the survey.  

Remember to click 'Submit response' at the end of this survey to make sure your views are submitted.

If you need support to complete the survey, the survey translated or in another format, please contact Nicola Bryson, Participation Worker.

Telephone: 01273 335253

Mobile: 07719 004950


Will my information be kept confidential?
All responses are anonymous, which means we do not ask for your name or other information that might identify you to us or to other people.

For more information on how we will use your data please see East Sussex County Council Consultation Hub | East Sussex County Council
What will happen once I've completed the questionnaire?
The key findings from this survey will be shared with the people in charge of local services, so that they can further understand young people’s views and experiences of Relationships, Abuse and Harmful Sexual Behaviours and will inform recommendations for improving services.  

Thank you 

East Sussex Youth Cabinet

Where can I get support? 
Some people might find some of these questions upsetting or uncomfortable. If this happens, you can close the survey and ask for help. Please see the additional links below for information about services that can support you. 

Change Grow Live offers support to anyone aged 16+ who has been affected by domestic abuse and violence Domestic Abuse Service - East Sussex | Change Grow Live

Childline offers information advice and support Childline | Childline

Safe Space Safe:Space Sussex (  lists local support
Victim Support: Helpline and Information
Survivors Network:

Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger, for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you need urgent help text YM to 85258

Talking to a trusted adult or friend – If you are having a problem you can’t fix on your own it’s a good idea to speak to an adult or a friend you trust.  Talking to someone can help you feel like you don’t have to deal with it on your own and make things feel more manageable.
Examples of trusted adults could be –
·       Parent, carer or someone else in your family
·       Friend’s parent or carer, or a neighbour
·       Teacher, sports coach or a member of staff at your school/college
·       Doctor, school nurse or school/college counsellor

Why your views matter

This survey is to understand young people's views on Relationships, Abuse and Harmful Sexual Behaviours.

We will use the information we gather to change things, to help us make sure we develop the services you need and understand where we need to raise awareness of safety issues that matter to you.

Hearing your voice on this important topic is important to us!



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