Well, i did it! THe questions were a bit different to what i was expecting so i hope it sounded ok. They asked me if teenagers are violent because they have grown up at home with violence in the family. I really dislike this idea, it has been widely discredited but still you hear it all the time in the media, and also from professionals. It may increase someone’s vulnerability and may heighten risk but it by no means causes or predicts the likelihood that someone will go on to be abusive in their own relationships.
I was also asked why young men are violent and what they say to me about their use of violence. I didn’t mention this on the show but the other day i was on a late night train. I was on my own in the carriage apart from three 19-20 yr old lads. They were saying the most vile things about girls. I hear this stuff every day, but this really shocked me. They were talking about playing spin the bottle, and the things they make the girls do in this game was so shocking. I listened for a while but i had to challenge them on it! Maybe it wasn’t the most sensible thing to do, and i am not saying we all need to start challenging people everytime we hear something like this, but if we don’t do something, these kind of attitudes will continue. We actually had a really good chat about repsect and how the girls may feel when they are made to do certain acts by the boys. They ended up really thinking about what they had been doing, and i just hope that next time they play spin the bottle, they will think of the annoying woman who lectured them on the train and have more respect!!
There is such a climate of fear at the moment about young people and violence and research shows worryingly high levels of acceptance of violence in relationships. Much of this is down to the fact that we live in a society that condones and even glamorises violence and sexualises young girls. As well as doing everything we can to safeguard victims, we also need to challenged the underlying attitudes in our society that allow this abuse to continue.
So today i got an interesting phonecall from Radio 4, asking me to be on women’s hour tomorrow!!! I am going to talk about domestic violence in teenage relationships.
You can listen on 93.5 fm or on the internet , or on freeview channel 704 i think!
I am so pleased that finally this issue is being taken seriously and i am looking forward to discussing it!
In the meantime i am off to make a dog out of a sock.