In the UK in 2009, it was reported that almost three quarters of girls and half of boys aged between 12 and 16 had experienced some form of emotional abuse in their relationships. In the United States, approximately 30% of teenagers stated that they had been verbally or psychologically abused, in accordance to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Another American study reported that 1 in 4 teens had experienced some form of domestic abuse at the hands of a partner. Statistics around the world indicate that young people experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence, compared to any other age group. Yet studies have also frequently shown that they are less likely to have full awareness regarding what is considered abuse. This indicates that domestic violence amongst teens is a prevalent yet hidden issue.
The only person to blame for domestic violence is the perpetrator, and this evocative design spreads an important message — it's not your fault.
Artist: Ray Kelley
The effects of teenage partner violence and domestic violence in adults are similar, but their experience of abuse may look different. Young people who are subjected to domestic violence have an increased risk of self-harm, depression, substance abuse and achieving a lower educational attainment, and they are also more likely to be abused in future relationships. (United States National Institute of Health)
A significant proportion of young people globally fall into an education and prevention gap regarding domestic violence. Almost 80% of young people in England and Wales felt that they had not received the necessary education and support to deal with physical and sexual violence, despite a significant focus on healthy relationships as part of the Sex and Relationships curriculum. Support for those who have experienced domestic violence tends to be aimed at older adults, more commonly women, as they are primary victims. As a result, young people are less likely to report their experiences and are less likely to be aware of available support. (Family Planning Association)
Question: What constitutes a healthy relationship?
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