Featured image courtesy of cafnr app_0031 via Flickr Creative Commons, December 2017
Research conducted at DECIPHer found that in a group of 16-19 year old Further Education students in England and Wales, 55.1% of males and 53.5% of females reported experiencing some form of dating and relationship violence.
Results also found that that those who had ever sent a sexually explicit image of themselves were between 2-8 times more likely to have experienced some form of dating and relationship violence. Around 45% of participants in the study reported sending sexually explicit images.
Dating and relationship violence is defined as threats, emotional abuse, coercion, controlling behaviours, physical violence, and coerced, non-consensual or abusive sexual activities perpetrated by a current or former casual or steady partner.
The study, which collected data from 2105 students, found that the most common form of dating and relationship violence was controlling behaviour, experienced by more than one third of all participants with dating or relationship experience.
Dr Honor Young of Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences who led the research, said: “The results of this study found that, generally, socio-demographic characteristics were not related to dating and relationship violence. The absence of gender differences and social patterning suggests that dating and relationship violence is becoming normalised for 16-19 year olds.
“The other result from the study was the increased odds of experiencing some form of dating and relationship violence for those who have ever sent a sexually explicit image. This was between 2-8 times greater for males and 2-4 times greater for females…”
The research was conducted as part of the SaFE (Safe Sex and Healthy Relationships in Further Education) project, a collaboration between Cardiff University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Institute of Education and sexual health charity Brook. Funding came from the Medical Research Council’s Public Health Intervention Development Scheme.
The paper, Dating and relationship violence among 16–19 year olds in England and Wales: a cross-sectional study of victimization, is published in the Journal of Public Health.