Teenagers experiencing violence when dating.

Women’s Aid launches new teen domestic violence statistics with Bliss magazine
Wed, 3rd Dec 08

National domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has launched new teenage domestic violence statistics with Bliss magazine as part of their Expect Respect campaign. The statistics, which launch in the January edition of the magazine, show that approximately 1 in 5 Bliss readers have been physically hurt by someone they were dating – and for sixteen year old girls, this goes up to 1 in 4. The survey, which was live on the Bliss magazine website in September, also showed that nearly a quarter of fourteen year old girls have been forced to have sex or do something else sexual they didn’t want to do by someone they were dating.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Nicola Harwin CBE said:

“Although we know that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence, it is still shocking to find out that this statistic applies equally to teenage girls in their very first relationships. It is also worrying that our survey showed that the older girls are, the more likely they are to accept being bullied and controlled, whereas they are less likely to confide in parents and ask for help. Whether it is physical violence, forced sex, or emotional abuse, this abuse is never justified. Women’s Aid is working to prevent abuse in the future by working with Bliss magazine to publicise our new resources for young people, parents and teachers, and to send out the message that we should all Expect Respect in our relationships.”

Leslie Sinoway, Editor of Bliss said:

“Bliss magazine and mybliss.co.uk are delighted to be in partnership with Women’s Aid for the excellent Expect Respect campaign. As a brand, Bliss has always been committed to equipping teen girls with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to ensure that they go on to have happy, healthy relationships. We hope this campaign will help educate young girls in what is, and what is not, acceptable behaviour from a partner.”

The Expect Respect campaign has been running since September when it launched on The Hideout website for young people affected by domestic violence, supported by Hollyoaks actors Ashley Slanina-Davies and Kieron Richardson, who play Amy and Ste in the Channel 4 programme. The campaign asks young people to both Expect Respect and give respect in their relationships and aims to work with teenagers now to reduce the amount of domestic violence experienced in the future.

Ashley Slanina-Davies said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms, it can be physical, sexual or mental. In Hollyoaks, my character Amy faced this in her relationship with Ste and I know from this storyline why it can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship. If domestic violence is affecting your life in any way, you can go to http://www.thehideout.org.uk for support and information. The important thing to remember is that there is always someone willing to listen so don’t suffer in silence.”

Kieron Richardson said: “Domestic violence affects many young people, whether in their relationships with each other or if they have grown up with violence in their homes. From playing Ste on Hollyoaks I can imagine how frightening it would be to have him as a boyfriend. Violence and bullying in relationships is always unacceptable. Everyone should Expect Respect in all of their relationships, and not only expect to be respected but to give respect to others as well.”

Young people affected by domestic violence or who are interested in the Expect Respect campaign can go to the redeveloped Hideout website http://www.thehideout.org.uk now contains a range of new interactive features with separate areas for children and teenagers and includes an online messageboard for young people.

For more information contact:
Teresa Parker on 0117 9837123 / 07815 598 784 teresap@womensaid.org.uk
Jess Tadmor, Marketing Manager for Panini UK on 01892 500105

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