Relationships: Drawing the Line

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The line. What's ok? What's not? - Relationships: Drawing the LineOne in four young men believe that controlling and violent behaviours are signs of male strength.

  • One third of these young men are categorised as being on the trajectory towards acting violently against women and girls.
  • The other two thirds will be comfortable with coercive and disrespectful behaviour.

These are some of the results from a survey of over 3000 young men and women (new window) commissioned by Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women and their children.

The survey also indicates that:

  • One in six 12-24-year-olds believes "women should know their place"
  • One in three believes "exerting control over someone is not a form of violence"

These are concerning statistics that underline some regrettably common misunderstandings about what kind of behaviour is right and acceptable within relationships.

In order to address these concerns, Our Watch has launched The Line (new window), a website that talks frankly and honestly about what it's like to be in a relationship.

Relationships are an important part of our lives. They're something a lot of people want. But relationships can also be confusing, distressing and even frightening.

The Line is there to try to answer the questions that don't seem to have been answered properly up until now. It's a place to talk about where to draw the line in your friendships and relationships. It's also a place to talk about:

  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Bystander action
  • Technology and communication

It has advice on how what's healthy and respectful and what isn't, and how to avoid crossing the line that makes someone feel frightened, intimidated or diminished.

Whether you're male or female, if you've got questions about what's happening in your own relationship, or in one of your friends' relationships, The Line can help you sort things out and work out a way to have happier and healthier relationships.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or abuse, contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (new window) on 1800 806 292.

If you or someone you know need someone to talk to, you can visit eHeadspace (new window), call Lifeline (new window) on 13 11 14, or Kids Helpline (new window) on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day.

If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 000.

You can also explore the rest of Youth Central for advice about: