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The Body Shop survey shows that teen attitudes are a time bomb to domestic violence

Thu, 9th Aug 07

Research released today by The Body Shop, as part of their Stop Violence in the Home Campaign, reveals that the next generation will be as much at risk of domestic violence as today unless action is taken to educate young people on developing positive and respectful relationships.

The research showed that 1 in 5 teens (21%) believe it’s ok to tell a boyfriend or girlfriend what to do, with the figure rising to more than one in four (27%) in young men. A further 1 in 10 teens think saying sorry makes it ok after they’ve hurt or forced a partner to do something. A worrying statistic considering that on average, a woman will be assaulted by her partner or ex-partner 35 times before reporting it to the police.*

Nicola Harwin, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid commented:

“This research is very worrying.  As young people enter relationships for the first time they must be aware that allowing consistent power and control over a partner in any relationship is abusive and not acceptable. We need to work harder to reach young people and make them aware of the risks”.

In light of the fact that one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime*, The Body Shop® survey findings paint a worrying picture of youngsters attitudes towards domestic violence. Many do not seem to realise that domestic violence does not have to be physical or where emotional abuse can lead, suggesting that there is need for greater awareness at an early age to tackle this issue.

Zuni, 17, a survivor of domestic violence, said:

"My ex-boyfriend was very controlling, he used to check my phone, tell me what to wear and who I couldn’t be friends with. On one occasion he slapped me in front of his friends because I 'answered him back'. He made me feel really bad about myself and that I was always the one in the wrong. If I did what he said - things would be ok. I wish I’d known then that his behaviour was the problem - not mine. I think it’s really important for young people to know what a healthy relationship really is and that they don’t have to put up with being treated badly, like I did. I was lucky to leave but others might not be.  Young people have to spot the signs early”

Nicola Harwin, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid commented:

“The only way we can do this is being able to finance awareness campaigns and offer support services aimed at young people. Contributions from companies like The Body Shop are vital in tackling domestic violence ”

 Toby Morgan, Values Manager for The Body Shop® UK & ROI commented:

"The report highlights a number of grey areas in young people’s attitudes to domestic violence, particularly emotional abuse and where the boundaries lie. There is a need for greater awareness and support of charities like Women’s Aid so that help and information is available for young people.  Throughout 2007, The Body Shop® is raising much needed funds for Women’s Aid by donating all profits from sales of our special edition pink Hi-Shine Lip Treatment** to the charity". 

The survey was commissioned by The Body Shop® to support their latest campaign to heighten awareness about the impact of domestic violence, as well as raise funds for national domestic violence charity, Women's Aid.

Women’s Aid run a website for children and young people, www.thehideout.org.uk which aims to support and inform about domestic violence. Funds raised from The Body Shop Stop Violence in the Home campaign will help to develop this vital resource.


Media Contacts
For further information please contact Simone Harvey at Resonate on 020 7861 2525 or by emailing sharvey@resonate.uk.com


* Taken from www.womensaid.org.uk

** The special edition pink Hi-Shine Lip Treatment (RRP: £9.00) can be purchased in-store, on-line (www.thebodyshop.co.uk) or through The Body Shop At Home parties. 

About The Report
The report was carried out amongst a sample base of 1046 children aged 12 – 18 years old by TickBox.net.  TickBox.net is a leading market research organisation, carrying out consumer, corporate and niche market surveys online amongst a 50,000+ member panel.

The report was commissioned to uncover children’s attitudes about domestic violence and what they understand to be acceptable in healthy relationships.

Stop Violence in the Home

This year The Body Shop ‘Stop Violence in the Home’ campaign will be raising funds in the UK for national domestic violence charity Women’s Aid. Money raised by the campaign will fund projects to ensure children and young people affected by domestic violence know of the resources and support available to them.  Activities will include an awareness campaign centered around Women’s Aid’s unique website for children and young people experiencing domestic violence (www.thehideout.org.uk) and an educational toolkit to help teachers and youth workers who want to engage young people in discussions and activities concerning domestic violence. Last year the company raised £190k for Women’s Aid.

Stop Violence in the Home is a global campaign which was launched in 2003 consolidating a long-term commitment to pursue real change around the world and building on established long-term campaigns in Canada, the USA, West Malaysia and the Philippines. The emphasis of the Stop Violence in the Home campaign is on creating a better future for victims of domestic violence by raising awareness of the issue and generating funds for helping to tackle it.

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, and runs the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 in partnership with Refuge.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity no 1054154