Education and Prevention
Do you think that domestic abuse is an adult problem?
Could it really be relevant to the young people you work with?
Safer Lives statistics show us that abuse and violence in young people’s relationships is a substantial problem, and demonstrates the magnitude of the problem:
- Half of all young people (irrespective of gender) reported emotional abuse, most often being shouted at and/or called names.
- One fifth of all young people (irrespective of gender) reported experiencing physical violence – although a greater proportion of females report severe physical violence.
- A third of adolescent girls and a quarter of boys reported sexual violence through pressure or physical force – higher rates for girls if only physical force is included in the definition.
- Between 50-70% of all young people, reported experiencing abuse through new technologies most often controlling behaviour and surveillance through messaging or social networking sites – although pressured sexting was most commonly reported by girls.
Unhealthy relationships can start at any age. Sometimes domestic abuse can start at a young age and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviours (physically or electronically), like teasing, name-calling or stalking, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviours can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.
Bexley Women’s Aid believes that education has an important role in preventing future cases of domestic abuse, so we work closely with children, young people, professionals and also the general public to raise awareness of domestic abuse and dispel some of the myths that still exist. BWA also works with youth organisations to encourage young people to have an informed choice about healthy relationships. Here at BWA, we acknowledge the importance of being able to respond appropriately if a young person reveals domestic abuse, so we help equip teachers and youth workers with the skills needed to make referrals to our services.
BWA’s Education and Prevention service raises awareness about domestic abuse amongst children and young people to prevent them becoming a victim or perpetrator of abuse in their future lives.
This work focuses on equipping children and young people with the skills needed to develop healthy relationships, both within their own family networks and with their peer groups, that are based on mutual respect and equality. Through education about respect and healthy relationships, this service also addresses the issue of bullying and information on where young people can go for help and support. The project includes training of other professionals so that they can identify domestic abuse at an early stage and deal with it more effectively from the start.
BWA also work with professionals in order that they can feel confident in using knowledge gained to support children, young people and families that they work with to identify domestic abuse earlier and make appropriate referrals for support.