No teenage boy should grow up persuaded that abuse is normal
“Whore, bitch, slag, slut,” – these are the insults one teacher says she hears levelled at teenage girls on a daily basis. She described girls being “heckled if they dare to speak in class, their shirts forcibly undone, their skirts lifted and held by groups of boys”.
It would be easy and, let’s be honest, more comfortable, to dismiss this as a one off. Or the inevitable, temporary, rite of teenage passage. After all, we all remember that hormonal mix of over-excited boys, irritated girls, and clumsy flirting that gets a bit out of hand.
Sadly it’s rather more than that; it’s certainly not temporary, and the evidence shows it’s getting worse. Across the country there are now growing voices of anger about violence against women – and particularly about the growing abuse and harassment of young women and girls. Now we need not just voices, but action – and yes, that means Government action too.
According to the Children’s Commissioner there is clear evidence that violence in young relationships is growing. The British Crime Survey shows girls aged between 16-19, are most at risk of domestic violence – over 10 per cent had been experienced violence or abuse in a relationship.