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So often domestic abuse is considered as an issue for adults and is rarely associated with young people, however 25% of girls and 16% of boys age 13-17 reported being physically assaulted by a partner.  


Abusive behaviours and attitudes are normalised by music, television, films, magazines and celebrities to the point that many young people view abusive behaviour as the model of a relationship to aspire to.  Girls are taught they should want someone who is going to take charge, tell them what to do, text and phone them constantly, never let them go...  The sexualisation of culture has led to many young people believing sexual pressure and abuse by a partner is acceptable and that in order to 'keep' a partner they must do whatever they are told sexually, including rape, creating pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation.


Whilst child sexual exploitation is often seen as separate to domestic abuse, the perpetration of sexual exploitation is almost exactly the same as domestic abuse, and the young person being subjected to harm will experience the abuse as "a relationship".  The DAY Programme is a resource that can be used to address domestic abuse and exploitation.


The effects of domestic abuse and exploitation on young people are huge.  They include: 


  • Self harm

  • Teenage pregnancy

  • Abortion

  • Depression

  • Drug and alcohol dependency

  • Eating disorders

  • Self hatred

  • Distorted self image

  • Physical health problems

  • Suicide

  • Murder

Often young person who are subjected to abuse or exploitation aren't taken seriously by professionals, leading to further danger and abuse for them.  The majority of young people do not tell anyone about the abuse they are being subjected to, if they do speak to someone, it is usually one of their friends (NSPCC, 2009).  We need to provide education and awareness for young people so they recognise abuse for what it is, so when their friends talk about being subjected to abuse they can support them effectively, so that if they are perpetrating abuse this can be challenged and change made possible.

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