DCSIMG

Shock toll of teenage violence

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One in four teenage girls will be attacked by their boyfriends.

Leeds Community Foundation warns that a quarter of girls will suffer at the hands of their partners at some point in their teenage years.

And experts fear there are growing numbers of young people being groomed for sexual exploitation.

A report by Leeds Community Foundation claims that young people who work in the sex industry are 18 times more likely to be murdered by their peers.

The shocking toll of violence has been highlighted as an emerging trend which is increasingly affecting children and young people growing up in Leeds.

Experts warn that violence in teenage relationships is much “more likely” to go unnoticed because young people are often “more accepting” of abuse.

And it urges that more support is needed for victims because they are often not old enough to qualify for help aimed at domestic violence victims and face struggling on their own.

Although violence can occur in same-sex relationships and by girls towards boys, it is more commonly committed by boys against girls.

The report warns that violence is usually sustained over the period of the relationship and gets steadily more serious.

The Foundation claims that education is an important tool to tackle issues surrounding domestic violence and child sexual exploitation.

And it hopes to support projects which currently tackle these issues with the launch of its Children and Young Person Fund.

The Foundation aims to raise around £100,000 to help organisations and projects across the city to enable thousands of children across Leeds to achieve the best possible start to life.

Sally Anne Greenfield from the organisation said:“Leeds Community Foundation is fully supportive of Leeds’ vision to become the UK’s Best City for Children by 2030.

“A significant amount of work is being done by Leeds City Council and other partners to make this a reality and initiatives such as Child Friendly City go a long way to involving more people.

“However, we cannot shy away from the fact that there are still some significant issues that need to be addressed and we believe the third sector has a crucial role to play.

“We already work with and support hundreds of excellent projects and schemes who are helping to drive positive changes in Leeds.

“Our Children and Young People’s Fund offers an easy platform for the Leeds people and businesses to support local community projects and ensure money is being distributed to those who need it most.”

CHARITY HELPS YOUNG ABUSE VICTIMS REBUILD THEIR LIVES

Sexual exploitation can happen to anyone at any age.

Children as young as 12, who are thought to be at risk from exploitation, have been signposted to a Leeds charity for specialist support.

Isis, which is part of protection charity Genesis, reaches out to offer support to some of the most vulnerable youngsters in Leeds.

The charity supports around 40 young women a year and, ultimately, gives them the chance to rebuild their lives.

Funding from organisations such as Leeds Community Foundation is crucial to enable them to continue working with some of the most vulnerable young people in the city.

The Foundation recently paid for a specialist part-time worker to help people who are at a high risk of being exploited or are currently being exploited.

They also offer advice in the wider community and visit local schools in a bid to prevent youngsters from falling into the clutches of predators.

Taylor Austin-Little, senior young person’s outreach worker, said: “You might think of domestic violence as happening to a woman in their 40’s but what we are seeing are girls who have experienced domestic violence in their home.

“Their expectations of a healthy relationship are quite skewed and experience it in their own relationships.

“We help to give young people options and they are able to rebuild their lives.

“There are young people who we have supported who are now in full-time jobs and are able to identify that their previous relationships were not positive.

“It is all about giving young people a choice and letting them know it is not their fault and they are not to be blamed.”

 

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