This article reports on the first findings from the Boys to Men Research Project. In total, 1143 pupils aged 13–14 years completed a questionnaire to assess their experiences of domestic abuse as victims, witnesses and perpetrators. Overall, 45% of pupils who had been in a dating relationship reported having been victimised, 25% having perpetrated it, with the only difference in rates of victimisation and perpetration between boys and girls being in relation to sexual victimisation. Of the whole sample, 34% reported having witnessed it in their own family. There was a relationship between victimisation and perpetration with the vast majority of perpetrators (92%) also reporting experiencing abuse from a boyfriend/girlfriend. There was also a relationship between experiencing abuse and help seeking from adults, with those who have been victimised less likely to say they would seek help if they were hit by a partner than those who had yet to experience any abuse. The relationship between help seeking and experiences of abuse is further complicated by gender, with girls twice as likely to seek help than boys, but with girls who have previously hit a partner among the most reticent group. The paper concludes with highlighting the implications of these findings for those undertaking preventative work in schools.
- domestic abuse