Young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group. For many, experiences of domestic abuse begin in the childhood home and it is estimated that 1 in 5 children are exposed to domestic abuse. This means that for many young people, their experience of domestic violence does not begin in their own relationships, but in the childhood home from witnessing adult relatives in abusive relationships.
According to the Safe Lives report '“Safe Young Lives”: young people and domestic abuse', in March 2015, the Crime Survey of England and Wales identified that 6.6% of men and 12.6% of women aged 16 to 19 had experienced domestic abuse in the past year.
In Somerset, the number of teenagers between the age group 16/17 years receiving support through the Domestic Abuse Service has increased significantly from 2016/17 (2) to 2020/21 (14) indicating the need to address teenage abuse and unhealthy relationships.
Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Well-Being and Climate Change Cllr Clare Paul, said, “Young victims can experience all forms of domestic abuse and the likelihood of experiencing high severity abuse is no different to adults. Through this campaign, we urge anybody who is worried they are in an abusive relationship or that their teenager is in an unhealthy relationship, to get advice and support.”
Any relationship that does not make anyone feel good is an unhealthy relationship. For young people demonstrating harmful behaviour, and for those they are harming, help and support is available. Visit www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or call 0800 69 49 999 to know more.
In an emergency, call the police on 999. If you can’t speak, listen to the question and then tap or cough to answer. Press 55 to signal an emergency.
We urge you to support our campaign using #HealthyTeenRelationship on the Council’s social media pages. As a part of the campaign, we created an animated video highlighting signs of an abusive and unhealthy relationship. You can view the video, which has crossed 80,000 views already, on our official Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-d3pa_wv1c.
We have also created a landing page on the revamped Somerset Survivors website: https://somersetsurvivors.org.uk/somerset-survivors/healthy-teenage-relationship/ where you can find out more about the campaign.
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