Domestic Violence - new definition underlines need for work in schools
19 September 2012
Responding to the Government announcement today that the definition of domestic violence is to be broadened to recognise 16 and 17 year olds as victims of abuse, and to include ‘coercive controlling’ behaviour, End Violence Against Women Coalition Director Holly Dustin said:
“We welcome the Government’s recognition that young people, especially young women, experience high levels of abuse from intimate partners, and we hope this widening of the definition leads the police and other agencies to take reports from young women seriously.
“We also welcome the broadening of the definition to include ‘coercive and controlling’ behaviour, something women’s organisations have called for.
“This recognition however underlines the urgent need for more work in schools to address the attitudes that some young people hold about the acceptability of abuse in intimate relationships. We also need to ensure that specialist services for young women are available to support them when they need it.
“We hope that the Government will follow today’s announcement with a commitment to ensuring that all young people receive high quality sex and relationships education which includes discussion of consent and what constitutes abuse. Such a commitment could be made when the long-awaited review of PSHE education is published soon.”
Read more about EVAW's work on schools here.