Understanding the help seeking behaviour of teenagers who experience relationship abuse (dating violence) from a feminist intersectional approach.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    This presentation aims to raise issues related to teenage relationship abuse (TRA-dating violence) and help seeking behaviour from an intersectional approach. Even though teenage relationship abuse has been raised as an issue since the 80’s there is still an absence of an intersectional theoretical conceptualization of TRA. Existing conceptualizations are based on incorrect assumptions of sameness of teenagers experiences of TRA which ignore the unique developmental stages of teenagers as well as youth’s diverse lived experiences due to their sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, disability as well as other structural divisions. TRA exists in a social context of inequalities. For the individual survivor, this social context is created not only through romantic relationships, but also through relationships with families, peers, friends, classmates and others. Their experiences are constructed through these relationships which form part of the social context into which TRA needs to be analysed. The analytical framework of intersectionality can provide a framework of understanding how these lived experiences are enacted and negotiated contextually. Emphasis will be given to the help seeking behaviour of diverse youths. This presentation will explore the diverse lived experiences contextually. Methods and Findings: This presentation is based on a research project in Northern Ireland currently underway, thus, it will offer a preliminary conceptualisation of TRA from an intersectional approach. The findings will be contextualized taking into account the high rate of homophobia that exists in Northern Ireland amongst other things. Conclusion/Recommendation: Intersectionality needs to be the analytical framework through which teenagers’ relationship’s experience are analysed since the lived experiences of LGTB, BME and disabled youth cannot be analysed apart from the structural divisions, social location and the context they are experienced. This presentation argues that the intersectional approach of theorizing is congruent and contributes to anti-oppressive social work practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventEuropean Conference on Domestic Violence - Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
    Duration: 06 Sep 201509 Sep 2015


    ConferenceEuropean Conference on Domestic Violence
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Teenage realtionship abuse (dating violence, feminist intersectional approach, lgbt


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