Children and young people

Find out more about Safe Young Lives our programme of work across the UK to reduce the risk experienced by young people and to improve the care pathways they can access.

Domestic abuse affects the whole family, and it can have a serious impact on children. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises children as victims in their own right. By the time they start school, at least one child in every class will have been living with domestic abuse since they were born. 78% of these will experience direct abuse in the home.

Our strategy has a focus on acting before someone harms or is harmed. This starts in the home as children, and continues outside the home in young people’s first relationships.

I worry about school phoning home when I've been in trouble, because then dad takes it out on mum. It's my fault.

David, aged 13

All their relationships are affected. They have difficulty trusting people, they feel responsible as it is down to them to cease contact with the perpetrator... something which they feel too guilty and are too afraid to do. They experience direct abuse during contact, but little is done in court as professionals believe that contact is paramount.

Submitted to 'Every Story Matters'

Safe Young Lives

Safe Young Lives is our UK-wide programme that’s working to prevent young people from being harmed – or harming – through domestic abuse. Since its inception in 2018, we’ve engaged with over 700 young people directly and garnered insights from another 2,000 via surveys and interviews to inform our work in this area, culminating in seven transformative projects.

Key learnings

  • Young people experience coercive behaviour online, and are using tech to coerce others
  • Young people normalise coercive and controlling behaviour in their relationships
  • Young people’s experiences of abuse often intersect with other issues they experience
  • Children and young people who experience domestic abuse in the family home suffer multiple health consequences
  • There’s a need for clearer guidance and advice for children and young people

Your instincts are telling you that something is wrong ... but maybe you've never experienced love before and this is what people have been talking about, this is what love is meant to feel like.

Young person, aged 20–24, part of the Your Best Friend Project

Projects and outcomes

Your Best Friend, with logo to the left hand side.

Your Best Friend

This project empowers girls, young women and non-binary people with the knowledge and confidence to spot abuse in their intimate relationships. Includes the #FriendsCanTell campaign, which raises awareness of relationship red flags.

Verge of Harming report

Our research report, Verge of Harming, exploring abuse in young people’s relationships and support for young people who harm.
three women walking and laughing

SOS – Sounds of Silence

SOS brings together young Changemakers to influence how organisations in the sector work with young people. We collaborated closely with the panel and they influenced many Safe Young Lives projects.

My Story Matters

Read the research report for this young people project, which created digital tools to understand and address abusive behaviour in teenage relationships.

The Care Journey

A research project that explored the support available to children and young people in the care system who have been affected by domestic abuse.

Contact us

For more information about our Safe Young Lives programme, contact the team

Email us

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