The official definition of domestic violence is being widened to recognise victims of abuse aged 16 and 17.
A change to the official definition of domestic violence used across government will aim to increase awareness that young people in this age group do experience domestic violence and abuse.
The new definition will be implemented by March 2013.This follows on from the Government’s successful Teenage Relationship Abuse Campaign and is backed up by the British Crime Survey 2009/10 which found that 16-19-year-olds were the group most likely to suffer abuse from a partner.
This is just one of a number of active steps the government has taken to protect and support women, girls and men facing domestic violence, including ring-fencing nearly £40 million of funding up to 2015 for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services, rape crisis centres, the national domestic violence helplines, and the stalking helpline.
The new definition of domestic violence and abuse includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
A Young People’s panel set up by the NSPCC was also launched today. It will help to inform the government’s ongoing work to tackle domestic violence.
Visit the Home Office website for more information.