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Healthy relationships are all about respecting each other and this goes for all types of relationships with different people from friends and family to teachers and health professionals as well as romantic relationships. All relationships involve feelings and emotions and when it comes to romantic relationships, you should feel safe, secure and free to be yourself. Communication is really important for healthy relationships and it's often poor communication that makes things go wrong.

Being in a relationship can be complicated, but it’s helpful to ask yourself:

- Do you both want to be in the relationship?
- Are you both equals? Do you respect each other?
- Do you trust each other?
- Do you feel safe with each other?

If you and your partner can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then it’s pretty likely you’re in a healthy relationship.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions and there are elements of abuse, control and manipulation, then this sounds like an unhealthy relationship. DISRESPECT NOBODY

Whether a relationship is romantic or with family, friends or other adults, everyone deserves to feel safe and be treated with respect. If you feel you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999. If you feel you need more information or support: https://www.childline.org.uk/

There are lots of different types of sex, and while it might be exciting and pleasurable to try new things, it is also important to stay safe and know what you are comfortable in doing as well as feeling able to say no to anything you don’t want to do.

Know more about all different types of sex with yourself, a partner or multiple partners

We can feel pressure to have sex from all sorts of people. It can come from a partner, friends, families or even communities. We can even put pressure on ourselves to have sex just to fit in with what we think is normal and believe everyone else is doing.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling or being pressured into having sex when you don’t want to, it is important to seek help and talk about it. In Scotland, a new Domestic Abuse Act was launched in April 2019 which criminalises psychological domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour has come into force.

Many people are put in the position of experiencing unwanted sexual contact or are forced in some way into sexual acts. It is never the fault of the person who is being abused. If consent is not given, then anyone subjecting another person to any form of indecent behaviour is committing a crime.

Going out with someone, being married to them, or if they have agreed to sex before, are not excuses. There is no free invitation to have sexual intercourse with someone. If someone does not freely consent and is forced to have sex, then it is rape.

Whatever form it takes, unwanted sexual contact can be a painful experience both physically and emotionally. Rape without physical injury is just as emotionally damaging. This emotional pain can often get worse if the person keeps it to themselves. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, you may not want to or find it difficult to tell someone. There are, however, many ways that you can get support (see below).

Adult residents in Lanarkshire can use the Archway Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Appointments can be arranged by calling 0141 211 8175. You do not have to report what has happened to the Police, but if you choose to, most Police Stations have officers who are specially trained to deal with your situation in a sensitive way. If the assault happened less than 7 days, the Police will arrange to take you to Archway. If it is more than 7 days you can still make a complaint. It is a good idea to bring someone you trust with you, if possible for support.

If you report the incident as soon as possible, this will enable the capture of any forensic evidence. Once you have told the police that you have been raped or sexually assaulted, or the suspect has been charged, you have the right to remain anonymous and none of your details can appear in a paper or on TV or radio.

Help and Support **Archway** – specialist sexual assault referral centre based in Glasgow and provides forensic medical examinations, sexual health screening, emergency contraception, follow up support and counselling to people over 16 who have experienced recent sexual assault. Appointments can be arranged on 0141 211 8175. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ** Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre (LRCC) - 01698 527003**, www.lanrcc.org.uk. LRCC will talk to any woman or girl who has had an unwanted sexual experience **Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline – 0800 027 1234** (24 hour, confidential, free from landlines – mobile costs may vary) https://sdafmh.org.uk GBV Services based in NHS Lanarkshire offers services to women living in Lanarkshire. Ask a Health Professional to contact us on your behalf. Rape Crisis Scotland - 08088 01 03 02 (daily, 6pm to midnight) www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk Women’s Support Project, support for women whose children have been sexually abused – 0141 418 0748, www.womenssupportproject.co.uk Men and boys can get help and support from Survivors UK - 02035983898, www.survivorsuk.org General mental health contacts: Samaritans – 0845 790 9090, www.samaritans.org Breathing Space (aimed at young men but open to all) – 0800 83 85 87 www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk Childline (for children and young people only) – 0800 1111, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, www.childline.org.uk

If consent is not given, then anyone subjecting another person to any form of indecent behaviour is committing a crime. It is a criminal offence to touch or threaten a person in an indecent way (including groping or unwanted fondling). This is called indecent assault. The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 was implemented 1st December 2010 and replaced a mixture of common law and statutory provision by putting Scots Law on sexual offences into a single Act. The Act broadens the definition of rape to include anal and oral rape of women and men, as well as vaginal rape. Rape is defined as penetration of someone’s vagina, anus or mouth (to however small an extent) by a penis without consent or reasonable belief in consent. The Act defines consent as a free agreement and makes it clear that consent can be withdrawn at any time. The Act also sets out an offence of sexual assault by penetration, which covers, for example, penetration by objects, and which is equivalent in seriousness to rape. The Act also creates specific offences in relation to the rape and sexual assault of children and makes it clear that anyone under the age of 13 is considered unable to consent to sexual activity. The Act applies to all offences from 1st December 2010 – offences committed prior to this date will be covered by the previous legislation and/or common law. Going out with someone, being married to them, or if they have agreed to sex before, are not an excuse. There is no free invitation to have sexual intercourse with someone. If someone does not freely consent and is forced to have sex then it’s rape.

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