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New technology and abuse in young peoples relationships: Findings from a UK expert consultation Marsha Wood, Nadia Aghtaie and Christine Barter University.

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Presentation on theme: "New technology and abuse in young peoples relationships: Findings from a UK expert consultation Marsha Wood, Nadia Aghtaie and Christine Barter University."— Presentation transcript:

1 New technology and abuse in young peoples relationships: Findings from a UK expert consultation Marsha Wood, Nadia Aghtaie and Christine Barter University of Bristol Cath Larkins and Nicky Stanley University of Central Lancashire

2 Focus 1.Policy Overview 2.Challenges 3.Conceptual tensions 4.Ways Forward

3 Participants Voluntary Sector = 8 Academics = 2 Government = 3 Young People = 3 Groups, (20 members) Activities Policy Overview Vignette Small group discussion How do you talk about teenage intimate relationship abuse on a website and in questionnaires?

4 Policy Overview IPV in YP relationships is recognised by: Home Office - Domestic Violence Policy and campaigns - March definition widened to include 16 to 17 yrs. e.g. Education - PSHE - Expect Respect Toolkit (Home Office and Womens Aid) DV and Childrens NGOs (e.g Womens Aid, The Hideout, Respect, AVA, ChildLine, Brook) But not by: Government child protection guidance in England and Wales - Working Together (Revised March 2013) reference removed Government Education Policy - PSHE – Not statutory, no mention of IPV in young peoples relationships in Ofsted Guidance, no mention of young peoples relationships in bullying policy Anti-bullying NGOs (eg Anti-Bullying Alliance, Beatbullying, Kidscape) - not mentioned on websites

5 Policy Overview But not by: Home Office DV policy – only small mention Safeguarding policy –mentions bullying and cyberbullying but no link to partner violence Anti bullying & CyberBullying policies - mentions online-safety but no connection to IPV. Internet safety centres – Some mention sexting & grooming, but not use of New Technologies as partner violence. IPV, YP and New Technologies is recognised by Home Office Guidance (March 2013) Information for LAs on the change to the Definition of DV and Abuse produced with charity AVA (and on Other websites - Nottinghamshire domestic violence forum; Thats Not Cool Some projects within NGOs and research - e.g. Womens Aid film Can you see me, CAVA, PEACH.

6 There is a lack of guidance in this field the teacher has to make the leap. …as they do not see IPV as a safeguarding issue. Reluctance to enter arena of sexual harm – not mentioned on websites: Sometimes this is due to funding concerns 2. Challenges As less PSHE is delivered, teachers are less equipped to have the necessary conversations - they do not have practice / background knowledge.

7 for every incident like the vignette, there are 30 girls who know about it, who are talking about it and who are being put under pressure to behave in the same way, There needs to be a response at the level of the class. The girl may be being called a slut in class and the boys are all saying to other girls She did it, why dont you?. 2. Challenges

8 Schools have taken on the bullying aspect but they have completely separated it off from sexual violence … to [not]address the …sexual …and …gendered nature of it. Media polarisation and exaggeration: either lock them up or theyre just kids and this is common 2. Challenges

9 3. Conceptual Tensions Space Consent Legality Gender Roles and lead agencies

10 3. Conceptual Tensions Space Adults distinguish between world of intimate relationships and online world – for young people, they are not segregated. Young people are (generally) more competent in online environments than adults (eg most teachers). Digital images can more easily move from private to public online spaces. Practitioners wary about intruding into area of intimate relationships –private territory but, for young people, privacy rules are shifting. What happens on your phone is more private than what happens face to face!

11 3. Conceptual Tensions Consent [young people] have an idea that the age of consent is 16, but not what consent really means.... There may well be genuine surprise that some of this is illegal. they dont realise that …being in a relationship does not mean that you consent. We should be talking about more enthusiastic consent! Yes she has given consent to the act, but not for the distribution of images.

12 3. Conceptual Tensions Legality Young people dont understand what the law is with regard to posting sexually explicit images on line It is the distribution that is illegal… I have had the police say to parents, the first thing that his defence lawyer will say is OK, the girl has to be prosecuted herself as she sent this image to the boy. you dont always want to see this first as a illegal activity …You want a police officer …very well trained, who can go in and talk to the girl.

13 3. Conceptual Tensions Gender The victim is seen as the problem The gender aspect of this issue is conveyed in everyday speach They are constantly bombarded with images and objectification of women, so need to think about how to challenge that effectively and how to engage with this generation, and engage with young men as allies as well. Reason/ Response Structured Masculinity and Resistance

14 3. Conceptual Tensions Roles Everyone presumes someone else will deal with the situation – theres no ownership Young peoples privacy and how they want to deal with it have to be respected (age?) Needs response across school, family, community, society. Teacher-child perhaps not the best dynamic for addressing issue Adult ownership/ child led Supporting victims/ informing families

15 4. Ways forward More voluntary organisations are developing policy, guidance and resources: More training is being developed and could be delivered more widely, eg Ofsted and governors Coordinated multi agency responses Peer led and Bystander approaches Build on examples of good practice where found.


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