Can they do this to me?
Clash or match?
Getting it together - friends, girlfriends, boyfriends
Getting through the hard stuff
Love or creepy?
Male and female
Playing safe online
What can I do about an abusive relationship?
- Can I get them to change?
- It's not ok - what now?
- Should I leave them?
- Should I speak up?
- Will a baby make things better?
- Frequently asked questions about telling someone
- How can the law or police protect me?
- Getting Safe - Action Plan
- Are you being hurt by one of your parents or someone else?
- Things to help you feel safe
- How to tell someone
- What can CAPS do for you? Free, non-judgemental support
When is it not okay?
- An abusive relationship
- What is abuse?
- Frequently asked questions about domestic violence
- What is child abuse?
- Domestic Violence (DV) and Family Violence - what do they mean?
- Relationship violence
- Domestic violence - facts
- Violence - What is violence, what can violence do, what can you do if you are experiencing violence, what can you do if you are violent to other people?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- I am a 14 year old boy and my best friend just confessed that he thinks he may be gay. Now I'm afraid to be alone with him because I think he may start hitting on me. I won't take showers with him after gym or footy practice. I just feel funny around him now. I don't know how to handle this, what should I do?
This appears to have been completely unexpected news for you, and about your very best mate too. It's natural to be surprised - perhaps even shocked - by information we are not prepared for, especially if we think it might 'change everything'. This can result in a lot of confusion, fear and often sadness. However, it is extremely important that you take some time to slow down and examine why you are reacting the way you are to this news: to actually have a look at how you're thinking about the whole situation. It's often the way we think about or interpret some situations that triggers off our feelings and reactions to them. Our thoughts can make things seem worse than they actually might be. It may well be that - rather than the news you have received - it is the way that you are looking at and reacting to it, that could change everything between you and your friend. At times like this, some of our own core beliefs and fears can come up and surprise us. Yet this may be an opportunity to work some important things out between you and your friend as well. Here are some of the things you might want to start thinking about: How long have you known your best mate? Why is he your besty? What are the things about him that you have appreciated and which have helped bring you closer together over time? Has he behaved in ways that are 'unworthy' of a best mate in the past? These questions, and the answers you come up with, might help you better understand and appreciate the qualities and common ground that have made this guy a very good friend of yours up to now. Then you can reflect on what it is that's actually changed. You may think 'well, he's been hiding who he really is all this time'. Yet, it's possible that it's only recently that these thoughts about his sexuality have been coming up for him. Also, if he has been keeping these thoughts to himself up to now, can you really blame him? He has trusted you with some very important, deeply personal information. If his best friend can react like this to the news, what about other friends, their families, the school, the community? What is the vibe in your group, school or community about gay issues? Can you really blame him for keeping things under wraps? A true friend needs to be very careful about how he treats such important information entrusted to him by another. While this is not information you've wanted to hear, it's essential that you respect your friend's trust in you and at least avoid letting others use it against him. He may not have even told his own family about these thoughts yet. If part of you is ashamed of your friend or worried what other people will think if you hang out with a gay guy, you are about to find out what kind of friend you really are: one that can stand by a mate in the face of prejudice and fear of the 'different' or unknown - or one that simply cannot. At the end of the day, it's not really about what everyone else thinks. It's time to have a good look about your views - both real and imagined - about gay people. It sounds like the thought that a guy might be interested in you actually scares you. Again, while that is not an unusual reaction, can you look at what you're thinking is behind this. You may be operating on some inaccurate assumptions here. For example, do you think that every gay guy will find every other male sexually attractive? Is that why you are worried about your mate 'hitting on you'? It's simply not the case. While even 'straight' boys might sometimes play sexual games with each other, has your friend ever really 'hit on you' before? Do you have a fear about having to 'fight him off?' Does any of that sound a bit ridiculous to you? If so, is it because the friend you know doesn't operate like this? If not - and if you think he is keen on you in some way - can you talk to your best friend about it to clear things up? In fact, if you guys really have been best friends, there's a great deal you should continue to talk about. His possible sexual preference does not make him a totally different person from the one you've hung out with all this time. Still, he may be feeling pretty mixed up and alone right now. The website au.Reachout.com can help you get some idea about what it feels like to be a teen trying to work out if you're gay. He has treated you like a true best friend by talking to you about this issue. By exploring your own views, better understanding what's happening for him and perhaps discussing some of your concerns with confidential Kidshelpline phone counsellors (1800 55 1800), you could be in a position to better support your mate, and not needlessly lose your closest friendship.