Young people enjoy healthy relationships

Indicators of success

 

  • Number of young victims and percentage of repeat victims
  • Demonstration of a good understanding of healthy relationships
  • Number of young perpetrators and percentage of repeat perpetratration

 

 

If partner violence is the norm within adolescent relationships, as some research suggests, then the wider social factors that underpin and perpetuate this ‘accepted’ form of violence will also need to be challenged at a broader level, through, for example, whole-school intervention programmes. Domestic violence is often perceived as an ‘adult’ issue, something that happens between adults who are in, or have been, in an intimate relationship and research has tended to focus more on these relationships. More recently, intimate partner violence among young people has been highlighted as ‘an understudied’ area of maltreatment in the UK and this omission has significantly hampered the development of theoretical understanding and effective prevention programmes. Given the critical nature of adolescence as a developmental period, it is surprising that so little is known about this social problem. Furthermore, adolescents involved in dating violence are at higher risk of further violence in future relationships, riskier sexual behaviour, and increased rates of substance use and eating disorders. School programmes ensure that a large part of the target population is exposed to anticipated objectives. Arguably, no other programme site has more opportunities to reach a broad population and a specific age group. Prevention efforts during the teen years might be especially fruitful, because this is the time when students develop scripts that will guide their future actions in relationships.

 

Strategic Action

 

  • Increase educational setting coverage of Risk Avert and other education based preventative programmes across Greater Essex
  • Review existing out of school delivery mechanisms and explore and exploit opportunities for delivering Healthy Relationship messages
  • Review data collection and address identified data collection/sharing issues
  • Evaluate the implementation and impact of the Risk Avert and other preventative approaches

 

Contact details for outcome lead - ben.hughes@essex.gov.uk