Charity launches campaign aimed at supporting teenage girls at risk of domestic abuse

A campaign has been launched by the charity Women’s Aid, aimed at supporting teenage girls who are considered to be at risk of relationship abuse.

Launched earlier this month, it will also look to challenge the preconceptions surrounding issues such as coercive control.

The campaign was thought up after recent research found that around a third of teenage girls knew they had been in an abusive relationship, while 64 per cent of them had experienced abusive behaviour without recognising it as such.

The charity has created a microsite dedicated to the campaign called #LoveRespect with young adult author Holly Bourne as its ambassador.

Women’s Aid believes that girls are more likely to engage with digital resources than calling a helpline, which is why they created a website instead, and are also working on an online chat service.

Miss Bourne’s latest novel ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ follows the story of a woman whose life looked perfect on the outside, yet is struggling with a dysfunctional relationship.

Adina Claire, acting co-chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “More than half of teenage girls have experienced some form of relationship abuse, but many of them don’t realise it.

“Not only is public understanding of coercive control still lacking, but our research also shows that phrases like ‘domestic abuse’ don’t resonate with teenage girls – they see it as something that happens to women with husbands and children, and involves physical abuse.”