Young people’s attitudes to violence against women

January 1, 2000

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Through their preventative work in schools, the youth sector and their provision of services, Dublin Women’s Aid recognised the need for explorative work with young women and men. This pilot project was developed with a view to providing a supportive, empowering environment for young people to discuss and explore the area of violence within their own relationships and at home. CWASU undertook the research design, analysis and production of this report for Dublin Women’s Aid, which presents the findings of this exploratory study of young people with regard to the following issues in their lives:

  • personal safety and danger;
  • their encounters with interpersonal violence, committed both against themselves and against others known to them;
  • defining rape, sexual harassment and violence;
  • safe and unsafe sex;
  • the meaning of consent;
  • contact with and attitudes to pornography;
  • young people’s support needs.

Main Findings:

  1. Young people have high levels of contact with harassment, abuse and violence – many young people know of someone in their family/friendship/community group who has suffered at least one form of abuse.
  2. Young people demonstrated a lack of clarity about definitions of rape, assault and harassment.
  3. Young men and women demonstrated differing views about double standards, consent and how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to sex.
  4. Young people had high levels of exposure to pornography with almost all young men using it and a majority of young women having some contact with it.
  5. Young people had difficulty disclosing their experiences of violence, harassment and abuse due to lack of appropriate support structures and services including life skills education.

Research Report: Teenage Tolerance: Exploring Young People’s Experience and Responses to Violence and Abuse

Grant Holder: Dublin Women’s Aid with CWASU as research partners

Sponsor: The European Commission Daphne Programme

  • Project Team:
    Linda Regan, Liz Kelly