Factsheets -

Can they do this to me?

Being bullied at school
Is this discrimination?
Factsheets -

Clash or match?

What if they are older than me?
Long distance loving
Factsheets -

Getting it together - friends, girlfriends, boyfriends

Getting serious - or not
Personal space
How can I make my relationship work?
Factsheets -

Getting through the hard stuff

Surviving sexual assault - (young men)
Surviving sexual assault - (young women)
Factsheets -

Happy families

Where can I go for help with getting along with my family?
Factsheets -

Love or creepy?

Scary dates
Factsheets -

Male and female

Challenge the old ways
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Playing safe online

Grossing me out
Factsheets -

What can I do about an abusive relationship?

Factsheets -

When is it not okay?

Am I being abusive?
What about child abuse?
Factsheets -

Who can help?

If you are in danger call 000 or
tell someone you can trust

If you would just like to talk to
someone, help is at your fingertips ...

All the services below are available and free* for young people to use.
All the 1800 numbers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The person you speak to will be an experienced counsellor, not the police, not a government department.
You will not have to give your name.

* Please note that all mobile phone calls made from within Australia to Kids Helpline—using Optus (including Virgin), Vodafone, and Telstra—and 1800 Respect—using Telstra—are now free.

Relationship Advice

Are you having problems with a friend, partner or family member or would you just like to talk to someone about where to "draw the line"?

Call 1800 MYLINE (1800 695 463)
or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Online Safety and Cyberbullying

Are you being bullied online or has something happened online that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or sad?

Call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
or go to the Kids Helpline online
counselling service

Relationship Violence

Are you or have you been:

  • scared of someone hurting you?
  • sexually assaulted?
  • concerned about violence in a relationship with a friend, partner or family member?

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or
talk to a counsellor online.

Crisis Support, Suicide and Mental Health

If you would like to talk to someone about anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts or attempts:

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14

To find out how to report cyberbullying, offensive content, scams or online abuse, or just find out more about cybersafety, check out the Cybersmart website.

You can also download the Cybersafety Help Button to your computer for help and advice on a range of online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material.

Legal rights and responsibilities

If you want some legal information you can go to the Lawstuff website and search in your state or territory. If you can't find what you want, you can send a legal question to Lawmail. Lawyers will reply to your message as quickly as possible, usually within 6 days.

Assisted Call Services

For the Translating and Interpreting Service please call 13 14 50. If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 13 36 77.

Your Questions

Read responses from our expert psychologist, to some of the most commonly faced issues

The questions and answers below on this page help provide advice to others who may be in a similar situation. Please note the advice provided on this page is of a general nature and not specific to any individual or personal circumstance.

Please do not send questions raising urgent issues. If you need help, see our contact details for free counselling services.

The circumstances described in some of the questions below may raise legal issues. We suggest that contact be made with the Police or with a lawyer to find out what assistance or options may be available in these circumstances.

Previous Questions

There was a misunderstanding between me and one of my best guy friends, who is an Indigenous Australian. He always jokes about himself, and he made it clear I could joke about him too without him being offended. He said something and I heard him wrong, and he heard me say something back, which was wrong too, and he thought I was intentionally being racist against him, when I wasn't. Now him and a group of people, my "best friends" have all ganged up on me and have tried/are trying to turn everyone against me. He won't listen to me either. What should I do?

Casually poking fun at others, and trying not to ‘lose it’ if others poke fun at us, almost seems like part of our culture. It’s as if we think that making jokes about our differences can make us feel like we are closer friends somehow. However, this can be a tricky business: we can and often do go too far with our jokes, and people can get upset (even if they hide it well). Like most people, those that belong to different ethnic or religious groups can be willing and able to laugh at themselves, or pretend that it’s OK if others’ laugh at them in order to fit in. Yet we shouldn’t be too surprised if someone gets upset in this process: we all have things we are sensitive about.

It sounds like you and your friend have had a genuine misunderstanding, and that you never wanted to upset him. It also sounds like you may be feeling hurt yourself that he, and some of your “best friends”, are willing to think the worse of you. All you can really do at a time like this is to apologise for your part in the misunderstanding, and let your indigenous and other friends know that you meant no harm. Importantly, you will also know in your heart that you had no nasty intent.

You might not be able to get through to your friend for a while though, so it could be a frustrating time ahead for you. Talk to someone you can trust - and who values you - about the situation. Try to nurture yourself and remind yourself that you are a good person who meant no harm. How you behave - what you do and say from here on in - can send messages to others about the kind of person you really are.

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