Almost Half of Dating 13 to 14-Year-Olds Are in Abusive Relationships

10/11/2012 DK 0 Comments

Source: womensgrid

Almost half of dating 13 to 14-year-olds are in abusive relationships according to research led by Manchester University’s Chair of Criminology

30 July 2012
The interim findings of the European Social Research Council funded From Boys to Men study found that 46% of girls and 44% of boys had experience of dating abuse.

The most common behaviours recorded were emotional abuse and controlling behaviours (38%), included restricting contact with friends and family.

Teen abusive relationship
Physical abuse was experienced by 17% of young people although this rose to 21% when threatening behaviour and property damage were included.

The Manchester findings are inconclusive on the effects of televised violence, but did show that many young people had a high tolerance to violence in relatively commonplace circumstances.

Findings from the British Crime Survey in 2009-10 showed the 16-19 age range were at the highest risk of experiencing domestic abuse with young victims even less likely to report abuse than adults.

The Boys to Men study is the first of its kind which shows that abusive relationships are formed much earlier.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s Equality and Diversity Unit undertook a review of all 65 prosecutions flagged as domestic violence and involving a young offender and/or a young victim.

The research indicated a low volume of prosecutions in teenage relationships, with little reference to support for victims.

Professor Gadd, Director of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Manchester, said: “One of the consistent findings of research is how unlikely it is that young men particularly will ask for help or talk to someone in authority about what is happening in their relationship. Cuts in services for young people will make it more difficult to identify abuse and intervene earlier.”

The study shows a high correlation between witnessing abuse at home and having an abusive relationship.
Youngsters witnessing abuse were three times more likely to abuse their partners than those who did not witness abuse at home.

NSPCC research on victimisation among dating teens concludes that the number of youngsters reporting abuse was greater that reported by adults.

The Manchester findings show that there is some way to go in convincing young people that abuse is not just unacceptable but that the justice system is geared up to addressing this problem earlier.

Part of a longer story at

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