Context and Rational
Prevalence: In national and international studies, age has been shown to be linked to the risk of experiencing DSGBV with younger women being more at risk than older women (FRA, Interactive Tables; Watson & Parsons, 2005:105).
The annual rate of physical or sexual violence among Irish 18-29 year old women is (14%) and is notably higher than the annual rate among other age groups - (3-8%).
The National Study of Domestic Abuse also noted that abusive behaviour tends to begin when the person affected is quite young, with 60% of victims indicating that the abuse began before they were 25 years of age (2005:64). for many the abuse began in their teens (2005:63).
Gender & Age: Research shows that internationally, 7% of boys and 14% of girls under the age of 18 are subjected to forced sexual intercourse and other forms of violence involving touch (Pinheiro, 2006).
In Ireland, research on child sexual violence is limited.
The SAVI report revealed that (20.4%) of girls and (16.2%) of boys experienced contact sexual abuse before the age of 17.
A further (10%) of girls and (7.4%) of boys experienced non-contact sexual abuse (McGee et al, 2002).
Additionally, research commissioned by the Rape Crisis Network Ireland found that:
College students report a perceived lack of preparation to negotiate consent safely, leaving them vulnerable to sexual violence.
This further highlights a pressing need to educate and satisfactorily equip young people with the skills, knowledge and behaviours that ultimately prevents the occurrences of sexual violence.