Provide Teenage Partner Abuse Training to Secondary School Counsellors Now! #YAStoSupport

Provide Teenage Partner Abuse Training to Secondary School Counsellors Now! #YAStoSupport

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We are Young Abuse Support, and we are campaigning for every secondary school across the UK to have a properly trained counsellor in teenage abusive relationships. This service would be open for victims of abuse, as well as survivors and perpetrators.

Young people are exposed to abusive relationships at a disproportionate rate. In 2015, 12.6% of young women aged 16-19 had suffered from domestic abuse. This rate has risen to 14% as of March 2020 (ONS 2015, ONS 2020). This is considerably higher than the next largest group, whereby 5.3% of young women suffer from domestic abuse between the ages of 20-24. The NSPCC also acknowledge this can happen at an even earlier age, with 25% of girls and 18% of boys between 13-17 saying they have experienced 'some form of physical violence from an intimate partner'. In addition, ‘31% of girls and 16% of boys reported some form of sexual abuse within their relationships', with 53% of teenagers reporting some form of 'jealous and controlling behaviour' (SafeLives).

Despite these shocking statistics, young people do not have access to proper, confidential advice around healthy relationships. This is evident in the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry, which revealed an alarming level of 'normalisation of sexual harassment and abuse among young people' as '13-18 year olds trivialise and justify violence against women and girls, view some forms of sexual harassment as normal and even inevitable and excuse rape'. This is also shown in the Boys to Men investigation which found 49% of boys and 33% of girls aged 13-14 thought hitting a partner would be 'okay' in at least twelve of the presented scenarios. Further exacerbating this problem, young people are much less likely to report their abuse to police (ONS 2020). Young people are often worried about judgement from their peers, or do not acknowledge or recognise abusive behaviour as abuse. We, at Young Abuse Support, fully empathise with and understand these victims of abuse, as many of us have experienced this first-hand.

But you can change this.

With the help of the UK Government and the Secretary of Education, we can provide young people with access to support through counsellors across the UK. There is a counsellor already in place in most schools across the UK who can intervene early to assist. To do so, they need to be trained in how to support and work with young domestic abuse survivors, sufferers and perpetrators. By providing a confidential and accessible space for young people, trained counsellors can provide potentially life-saving advice on healthy relationships. A confidential space within the safe environment of school ensures that assistance is available, effective and life-saving. If adults over 18 have access to this level of support, it is imperative that we must also offer it to the group who statistically struggle the most. 

Let's stop allowing young people to go through abusive situations alone, like Lora:

“Well, obviously I went into [trauma therapy] not knowing what was right and wrong in a relationship. …so everything he once said to me I thought ‘well yeah, that’s ok, he’s allowed to say that’… And ‘oh he’s done this’, I took it because we’re together." (SafeLives).

Abusive behaviour starts in early relationships. By intervening in a perpetrator's first relationship, they will be more likely to understand what abusive behaviour is, why abusive behaviour is not appropriate and help prevent abusive behaviour in the future. Without the proper access to support in teenage relationships, victims are more susceptible to involvement in another abusive relationship later in life (Washington Post). Domestic abuse kills 2 women a week and 30 men a year on average across England and Wales, accounting for 16% of all violent crime (ONS, 2019). By intervening early and providing free, accessible support in young people’s lives, we can not only make major strides in breaking the cycle of abuse, we can also help change the government and societal approach to domestic abuse.  Young people need support. We deserve to feel safe. 

#YAStoSupport.

 

How to find us: 

Instagram: @YoungAbuseSupport

Twitter: @YASSupport

Email: youngabusehelp@gmail.com

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!