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New domestic abuse support available for 13-19 year olds in Gloucestershire


Gloucestershire County Council is pleased to announce the development of a new support service for young people in Gloucestershire.

The service will be provided by West Mercia Women’s Aid and will be available to young people (13-19 years) who are affected by teen relationship abuse or have witnessed domestic abuse within their family.


In 2013, the definition of domestic abuse was extended to include young people aged 16-17 years old as evidence showed that 16-19 year olds experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group. However, there is a growing awareness that young people under 16 are experiencing abuse in their relationships.


Research conducted by the NSPCC and University of Bristol into young people’s relationships found that:


  • 75% of girls and 50% of boys reported experiencing some form of emotional partner abuse.
  • 33% of girls and 16% of boys reported experiencing sexual abuse in their relationships.
  • 25% of girls and 18% boys reported experiencing some form of physical abuse.


Importantly, this research showed that younger participants aged 13-15 reported experiencing some form of relationship abuse at the same level as those aged 16 and above.


The newly-established team will work closely with the current providers of domestic abuse support services in the county and will link in with and complement existing activity in schools and other youth settings to promote positive teenage relationships.


The new service will be delivering both one-to-one and group support using evidence-based programmes that focus on an understanding of healthy relationships, and the promotion of self-esteem and resilience.


Targeted support will also be available to young people who may be displaying harmful behaviour in their own close relationships with partners or family members.


The referral pathways to all the services available will take a ‘no wrong door’ approach, so any referral made will be passed to the most appropriate team. The new service will be formally launching September 2019 and further information on the specific service offer and referral routes will be widely communicated.


For further information please contact: sue.coleman@wmwa.org.uk

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