Almost One In Four Teenagers Admit To Being In Abusive Relationships: Survey

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18th November 2013 13:30 - Public Consultation

New research carried out by the University of Manchester has revealed that almost one in four teenagers admit to abusing their boyfriend or girlfriend. This abuse ranges from emotional abuse, controlling where a partner can go, to physical and even sexual abuse with almost half of the young people taking part in the survey saying they had been themselves abused in relationships.

The poll of more than 1,200 school children also found that some children thought it was acceptable to hit your partner, especially in some circumstances. It has revealed that a higher proportion of boys (17%) said they thought it was okay to hit your girlfriend if she hit you first, compared to 11% of girls who believed the same. 

A notable minority said it was okay to hit a partner if they hit out first, they also admitted it was be acceptable to do this if they found out their partner had been unfaithful. The research also revealed that both boy and girls thought it was more acceptable for a girl to hit a boy than vice versa.

The research also went on to highlight what teenagers think about domestic abuse; 34% witnessed abuse involving adult who looks after them, 19% witnessed physical violence, 45% experienced some kind of abuse, 38% experienced emotional abuse, 17% experienced physical abuse, 14% experienced sexual coercion and 3% said they had been forced to have sex by their partners. Furthermore Half of abuse victims had been abusive themselves with Girls being more sexually victimised more than boys.

Commenting on the findings, Professor David Gadd from the University of Manchester, said:

“While most young men will say domestic violence is wrong, few actually know how to challenge other people who are abusive without resorting to violence. For this reason, child protection services need to also anticipate the ongoing challenges fatherhood and intimate relationships present to young men who have grown up around abuse, neglect and addiction problems”.

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