Young partner abuse and sexual health: indicators of increased risk

Julia V Bailey, Menelaos Pavlou, Andrew Copas, Lauren M Taylor, Gene Feder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)


Partner abuse (PA) is common among young people, but is often missed by professionals working in health, social care, education and the criminal justice system. This paper explores the types of PA experienced by young people and links with sexual health to see whether there are factors which indicate greater vulnerability to abuse.

Young people aged 16 to 20 from across the UK (n=1,754) completed an online survey in 2010‐11. We report experience of emotional, physical and sexual partner abuse and model the associations with demographic and sexual health variables in bivariate analysis using logistic regression.

A third of participants reported one or more types of PA within the previous three months, regardless of gender of partner. PA was significantly associated with sexually transmitted infection (Odds Ratios 1.6 and 2.9 for young women and young men respectively), regretted sex (OR 2.7 and 1.9), distress or worry about sex life (OR 2.7 and 4.6), sexual problems, numbers of sexual partners (OR 1.2 for each additional partner), and sexual health service use (for young men) (OR=1.9).

These ‘indicators’ may be noticed by professionals who work with young people, and can act as prompts to ask about partner abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-338
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Gender-Based Violence
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • cross-sectional studies
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • sexual health
  • sexually transmitted infection


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