0808 2000 247 Free phone 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge

Press releases

Women’s Aid launches teenage domestic violence campaign with Bliss magazine

Wed, 10th Sep 08

Women’s Aid has launched a teen awareness campaign about domestic violence for teenagers with Bliss magazine. The campaign, called Expect Respect, asks teenagers to both Expect Respect and give respect in their relationships and aims to work with teenagers now to reduce the amount of domestic violence experienced in the future.

The campaign features real life stories and videos of teenagers who have been directly affected by domestic violence, with stories being published both in Bliss and on www.thehideout.org.uk, the Women's Aid website for children and young people. As part of the campaign, Bliss magazine will run an online survey to find out how domestic violence affects their readers and new statistics from this survey will be launched in November 2008.

Statistics show that 1 in 2 boys and 1 in 3 girls think there are some circumstances when it is ok to hit a woman or force her to have sex. (Burton et al., 1998) and

36% of boys think that they might personally hit a woman or force her to have sex. (Burton et al., 1998)

The Expect Respect campaign is being supported by Hollyoaks actors Ashley Slanina-Davies and Kieron Richardson, who play Amy and Ste in the Channel 4 programme:

Ashley Slanina-Davies said: 

“Domestic abuse takes many forms, it can be physical, sexual or mental. In Hollyoaks, my character Amy faced this in her relationship with Ste and I know from this storyline why it can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship. If domestic violence is affecting your life in any way, you can go to www.thehideout.org.uk for support and information. The important thing to remember is that there is always someone willing to listen so don't suffer in silence.”

Kieron Richardson said:

"Domestic violence affects many young people, whether in their relationships with each other or if they have grown up with violence in their homes. From playing Ste on Hollyoaks I can imagine how frightening it would be to have him as a boyfriend. Violence and bullying in relationships is always unacceptable. Everyone should Expect Respect in all of their relationships, and not only expect to be respected but to give respect to others as well."

Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Nicola Harwin CBE said:

“Domestic violence can affect young people in many different ways, in both their immediate families and in their first adult relationships. Domestic violence is often a very gradual process that forms a pattern of controlling and abusive behaviour, and it is vital that we educate young people about this and the importance of healthy relationships. We hope that the Expect Respect campaign will help to reduce the amount of domestic violence in the future.”

 Leslie Sinoway, Editor of Bliss said:

“Bliss magazine and mybliss.co.uk are delighted to be in partnership with Women’s Aid for the excellent Expect Respect campaign. As a brand, Bliss has always been committed to equipping teen girls with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to ensure that they go on to have happy, healthy relationships. We hope this campaign will help educate young girls in what is, and what is not, acceptable behaviour from a partner.”


To view the real life stories, go to the newly redeveloped www.thehideout.org.uk and to take part in the Bliss reader survey, go to www.blissmag.co.uk. The October 2008 edition of Bliss magazine, which features the Expect Respect campaign, is on sale from Wednesday 10th September. The redeveloped Hideout website now contains a range of new interactive features with separate areas for children and teenagers and includes an online messageboard for young people.

For more information contact the press office on 0117 9157454 or press@womensaid.org.uk.


Jess Tadmor, Marketing Manager for Panini UK on 01892 500105

Notes to editors

About Women’s Aid
Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that co-ordinates and supports an England-wide network of over 370 local organisations which provide over 500 services working to end violence against women and children. Keeping the voices of survivors at the heart of its work, Women's Aid campaigns for better legal protection and services, providing a strategic "expert view" to government on laws, policy and practice affecting abused women and children. In partnership with its national network, Women's Aid runs public awareness and education campaigns, bringing together national and local action, and developing new training and resources.

Women's Aid provides a package of vital 24 hour lifeline services through its publications (available in 11 languages), website www.womensaid.org.uk, and runs the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline in partnership with Refuge.  Women’s Aid is a registered charity no 1054154. 

The Women’s Aid Website can be found at: www.womensaid.org.uk. This is a comprehensive website about domestic violence and its impact on women and children.  The website has help sections for women experiencing domestic violence in 11 different languages, as well as policy briefings and research findings. Women’s Aid also runs a website for children and young people experiencing domestic violence www.thehideout.org.uk.

0808 2000 247: Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
 run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.

If you would like resources about domestic violence to use with young people, Expect Respect leaflets and information cards for young people are available from Women’s Aid national office on 0117 944 4411 (for cost of post and packaging) or are free to download from www.womensaid.org.uk.

The new Hideout website has been split into two age groups, with one section’s content and design specifically targeted towards children, and the other section specifically targeted towards young people. The content in the young peoples' section of the site includes a focus on teenage relationships so that they can identify domestic violence in their own relationships as well as in the home. New interactive features include a video about domestic violence and new interactive content where users can ask themselves questions about their situation, to help them work out whether they're experiencing domestic abuse at home. The new site will also include a messageboard where young people can share their views about domestic violence and talk to others who may be going through a similar experience.