One in five young women have been subjected to abuse by a male partner.
The research by Women’s Aid also found that with that cohort, 44% of women said they had experienced suicidal thoughts and 19% said they had made an attempt on their own life.
In addition, 84% of abused women said the experience had had a severe impact on them and had reduced their self-esteem, triggered anxiety or depression and caused them to withdraw from family or friends.
On the eve of #WorldMentalHealthDay, we launch our #TooIntoYou campaign.
Our research found that intimate relationship abuse can have a severe impact on young women’s mental health including depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation.
Visit https://t.co/YrIO1pkJTe pic.twitter.com/6i6atWwkNq
— Too Into You (@TooIntoYou) October 9, 2023
On the back of these findings, Women’s Aid has launched a campaign #TooIntoYou to raise awareness about the impact abuse in intimate relationships have.
“For a young person starting to make their way in the world, maybe in their first intimate relationship, abuse can completely knock their self-esteem,” #TooIntoYou Project Lead Mary Hayes said.
“If it’s your first relationship you won’t have anything to compare it to, so you might accept abusive behaviours as normal.
“Psychological manipulation can be subtle, and it can be difficult for a young person to grasp that the controlling behaviours their partner is displaying are abusive, as they're just trying to feel good about their relationship.”
Our research also shows that 44% of young women subjected to intimate relationship abuse experienced suicidal thoughts as a result. 19% of young women had attempted suicide.#TooIntoYou #WorldMentalHealthDay pic.twitter.com/Ie3feJYHZh
— Women's Aid Ireland (@Womens_Aid) October 9, 2023
'I became a recluse'
Orla, a young woman subjected to intimate abuse, said her boyfriend quickly isolated her from her friends and family.
“When I was 17, I got into a relationship with an older boy,” she said.
“A few months in, he was adamant for me to stay in his house on the weekends, this is where the isolation began.
“Not hanging out with my friends on weekends, not spending time with my family. If I was to hang out with friends or attend a birthday party he would always join.
“After two years of this behaviour, I became a recluse.”
The toointoyou.ie website lists harmful behaviours that are abusive and unacceptable; since its launch, it has been visited some 4,000 times.
If you have been affected by anything raised in this article you can call Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900, open seven days a week.
Main image: Young depressed woman hiding her face. Image: Viacheslav Iakobchuk / Alamy Stock Photo