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Signs of domestic abuse in teenagers

A survey of teenagers in 2009 by the children's charity NSPCC found that 75% of girls experienced some form of emotional abuse, 33% of girls experienced some form of sexual abuse and 25% some form of physical abuse from their partner.

Sixteen and 17 year olds have been rcognised as domestic abuse victims since 2013. However, in April 2021, for the first time, the Domestic Abuse Act recognised that a child (under the age of 18 years) who sees or hears, or experiences the effects of, domestic abuse and is related to the person being abused or the perpetrator is also to be regarded as a victim of domestic abuse.

Some of the following signs could indicate that a young person is experiencing abuse:

  • physical signs of injury or illness
  • lateness, truancy, failing grades, lack of concentration
  • withdrawal, passivity, being compliant
  • changes in mood and personality, depression, self-harm
  • isolation from family and friends
  • frequent texts and calls from boyfriend or girlfriend
  • inappropriate sexual behaviour, language or attitudes
  • pregnancy
  • use of drugs or alcohol
  • eating disorders or problems sleeping
  • bullying or being bullied
  • very gendered expectations of behaviour, career and achievement

If you are concerned that a young person is experiencing domestic abuse you must follow Derby and Derbyshire safeguarding children procedures.

You can get the safeguarding children's procedures from the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.