A shocking number of young women are in abusive relationships - but many don't know the signs

A shocking number of young women are in abusive relationships – but many don’t know the signs

One third of young women have experienced abuse in a relationship, according to Women’s Aid x Cosmopolitan survey.


Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“Checking your phone, turning up unannounced and telling you who you can or can’t see is often misrepresented by your partner as showing that they care about you.  But this is not romantic. It is controlling behaviour that can slowly erode your confidence and independence and, if part of a repeated pattern, is ultimately abusive.

“Our culture often portrays controlling behaviour as a sign of being desired or loved when in fact coercive and controlling behaviour is at the heart of domestic abuse. As the shocking findings from our research show, many younger women may not recognise that their partner is abusive if there isn’t physical violence and may even think that threatening, controlling and intimidating behaviour is normal in relationships. We know that younger women are most likely to experience domestic abuse but least likely to access vital support services. We want to change this.

“We’re pleased to team up with Cosmopolitan to help raise awareness of what domestic abuse is. We want to let younger women know where they can get the support they need if they are worried that their relationship, or that of a family member of friend, is controlling or unsafe. Together we can send out a powerful message that domestic abuse is unacceptable and let all younger women know that Women’s Aid is here for you.”


Read the full survey results online here.

For further information, please contact  the Women’s Aid press office on: 020 7566 2511 /[email protected]

© 2022 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policyProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs │ Accessibility Guide

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?