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What kinds of relationships are there?

Friends, family, whānau; as you go through life, there are lots of different relationships you could have with people. These also include a wide range of romantic and/or sexual relationships.

Regardless of what kind you’re in, the most important thing is that it is healthy. This requires effort and respect from both yourself and the other person/people involved, but it’s worth it when it contributes to a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.

If you’re searching for more information on queer, trans and takatāpui relationships, the You, Me, Us website linked to below is a great resource to check out.

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How can I make sure my relationship is healthy?

A relationship is healthy if everyone involved feels safe, comfortable and respected. If one person is suffering and not being listened to, that's a sign that it almost certainly isn't healthy.

A few things that contribute to a healthy relationship include:

  • Shared responsibility
  • Effective and respectful communication
  • Equality – shared power

If it’s a relationship with a partner, it’s also particularly important that there is consent, especially when it comes to sexual activity. You should never pressure anyone, or be pressured yourself, into doing something you don’t want to.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the legal age at which you can have sex is 16. Both you and your partner should be at least 16, and clearly consent, before you decide to have sex.

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Who can I contact if I'm worried about abuse?

If your relationship isn't healthy and you're concerned about abuse, there are a number of places you can contact for help or advice. These include:

  • Women's Refuge - An organisation offering help to women and their children. Call on 0800 REFUGE (733 843).
  • Shakti Youth - Focuses on supporting women and children from Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. Call on 0800 SHAKTI (742 584).
  • Shine - Shine's aim is to prevent all forms of domestic abuse throughout the country. Call on 0508 744 633.

If you feel like you're at immediate risk of harm, always call the police on 111.

Key websites

  • Netsafe: Netsafe is full of advice, for everyone from parents to young people, on how to stay safe online.
  • YouthLaw Aotearoa: YouthLaw Aotearoa is a community law centre which provides free legal help to children and young people under 25. Their website contains useful information in relation to your rights.