Statistics from SafeLives show the effects of domestic abuse on young people, highlighting the issues that under-18s can face in violent households.

Unfortunately, domestic abuse and violence are a part of many people’s lives, and in a large number of these cases those affected are under the age of 18. However, many people are not aware of this, and do not know how far-reaching the effects can be. Fortunately, organisations like SafeLives exist to spread knowledge about domestic abuse.

SafeLives is a national charity with the goal of preventing – and eventually ending – domestic abuse. It has been running since 2005, providing many people with the help and support they need to escape abusive relationships. The organisation has recently conducted research into this area, and has uncovered several trends.

The charity surveyed a number of 13 to 17-year-old children who had been exposed to domestic abuse, and found a number of different things. For example, in an astonishing 61 per cent of cases, the abuse these young people are exposed to is directed towards their mother.

However, while many people have an image of an abusive head of the family harming every other member, this is not always the case. SafeLives found that 46 per cent of young people who have been exposed to domestic violence are being directly harmed as a result. However, direct harm is not the only way this problem can affect children.

Intimate relationships can also end up becoming abusive for young people. While ex-partners are often seen as a threat, they are only responsible for 30 per cent of this form of abuse. It is more likely that a current intimate relationship contains an abuser, which was the case for 61 per cent of victims; 94 per cent of whom are female.

While abuse is horrible in itself, it is also self-perpetuating. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of young people who have been exposed to domestic abuse end up behaving harmfully in their relationships.



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