04. Healthy relationships and red flags

Illustration and animation: Michael Mascarenas
Sound design: Sonar Music
'Change the Story' framework: Our Watch

Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respect to Elders past and present.Sovereignty was never ceded. This was, is and always will be Aboriginal land.

Healthy relationships and red flags

Relationships should be mutually supportive and make us feel good but sometimes they can be tough. Resolving difference is part of being in any relationship. It’s important to feel safe, equal and respected, to be able to be yourself and express your feelings without fear even if you disagree.

Unhealthy relationships have signs that we sometimes refer to as red flags. Red flags might be a partner persuading us to do things we don’t want to do with our bodies or telling us how to dress. It’s a red flag if a partner is jealous when we spend time with others, or when they check our phones or social media.

When a partner makes it difficult for us to spend time with friends or family, stop us from following our religion or cultural practices, tell us what to do or think, these can all be signs of an unhealthy relationship.

If they threaten to hurt us, our children, pets or themselves, it is abuse. Abusive relationships make us feel isolated and unsafe.

In healthy and supportive relationships, we are connected to people outside the relationship, we have our own interests and feel strong and supported.

Healthy relationships empower us to be ourselves no matter what we do, how we look, and what we choose to do with our bodies. They give us confidence to voice our beliefs and opinions, and help celebrate our achievements.

We all deserve to have healthy respectful relationships that make us feel safe, supported and happy.

If you or someone you know needs support in Australia call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or go to www.wagec.org.au