New figures show that reports of domestic abuse in Herts have rising since the launch of a police campaign.
Reports of the crime rose by 5.3 per cent among 16 to 17-year-olds alone – going up by 11 per cent once all age groups are taken into account.
The figures measure the period from November 2012, when Herts Police launched True Love? – a campaign that was relaunched on Thursday.
Police say domestic abuse will often escalate from something small like name-calling or threats to physical or sexual abuse.
Det Chief Insp Clare Smith said perpetrators of the crime will often insult, stand up or threaten their victims before showing them with presents or compliments.
She said: “These are mind games – a dangerous game to play. This is all testing the water for an abuser to see how far they can push you.”
Police say that some people may not even realise they are being abused.