Safeguarding teenage intimate relationships: connecting online and offline contexts and risks

  • Barter, Christine A (Principal Investigator)
  • Aghtaie, Nadia (Researcher)
  • Wood, Marsha J E (Researcher)
  • Stanley, Nicky (Researcher)
  • Pavlou, Susana (Researcher)
  • Apostolov, Georgi (Researcher)
  • Beal, Sarah (Researcher)
  • Överlien, Carolina (Researcher)

Project Details


To date, no national or transnational projects have addressed the incidence, role and impact of new technologies for instigating and maintaining control and violence in young people’s intimate relationships. This project aims to bridge this gap in European understanding and prevention.

The research, a 24 month collaborative project based in five European countries: England; Bulgaria; Cyprus; Italy; and Norway, has four main aims:
• Map relevant European research, policy and practice.
• Document the incidence, impact and dynamics of online/offline experiences of partner violence and control within young people’s lives.
• Explore young people’s own experiences of relationship violence and views on prevention.
• Development of an appropriate, directly accessible, web-based resource and app for young people.

A four-stage multiple-method approach will be used to achieve these aims:
Stage 1: Expert consultation: Each partner will convene a group of national experts to identify what is known about the use of new technology in young people’s intimate relationships and to map European policy and practice developments in this area.
Stage 2: School-based survey: A survey (n= 4500) will address the interconnection between online/offline spaces in young people’s (aged 14-17) relationships including: the nature of, and factors associated with, online partner violence; the role of new technology in underpinning physical, sexual and emotional form of violence; the impact of online control and abuse; and young people’s views on intervention and prevention.
Stage 3: Young people’s participation: Interviews with young people will explore experiences and perceptions of relationship violence within online/offline spaces and to explore their views on prevention and intervention. Young people’s participation will also be facilitated by a secure and monitored on-line message board, which will offer young people the opportunity to comment and suggest ideas and questions around this issue.
Stage 4: Web-based resource: an accessible, web-based resource and downloadable app will be developed, with young people, to disseminate information from the research and provide additional resources.

The project will significantly contribute to the safeguarding of young people’s welfare by: raising awareness of this under-researched form of intimate violence; enabling young people’s experiences and views to inform policy and practice; enhancing the development of appropriate prevention and intervention programmes including a direct resource for young people.

The project is funded by DAPHNE and the NSPCC.
Effective start/end date1/01/131/03/15

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolChildrenAndFamilies
  • SPS Children and Families Research Centre
  • SPS Centre for Gender and Violence Research


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