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The role of educational providers in addressing intimate partner violence among youth in Northern Ireland

The impact of intimate partner violence on teenage women's educational well-being

PhD project title and outline, including interdisciplinary dimension:
The impact of intimate partner violence on teenage women's educational well-being

IPV, the violence that is perpetuated by one partner to another partner has been widely documented as a human rights violation and a public health concern (WHO, 2013). It occurs in both adult and teenage relationships. It is a gendered phenomenon as in opposite sex relationships the victims are predominantly women and the perpetrators, men (WHO, 2013).

Whereas the negative impact of IPV on women’s employment has been widely researched, the impact on their educational well-being lags behind, even though these two can be connected.  It has been widely documented that IPV can affect negatively a woman’s job stability and economic well-being.  Available research has documented that perpetrators of violence use a wide range of power and control tactics which impact directly or indirectly a survivor’s ability to find or sustain employment (Adams et al., 2012). What about the impact of IPV on teenage women’s educational well-being? Are there similar strategies used towards teenage women by the perpetrators? Some preliminary research results suggest that the impact can be negative, such as missing classes, dropping of performance, not applying for university, abandoning of studies (Pentaraki, 2003; 2004). The impact can be worse in cases of same sex violence, when some schools do not even acknowledge the existence of same sex relationships and thus help is not available (Pentaraki, 2017). This proposed project aims to be amongst the first ones to develop our understanding about the mechanisms by which IPV can effect negatively the educational well-being of teenage women.  A person’s educational well-being is an important factor in their future economic well-being. It will also explore barriers and facilitators to help seeking behaviour. The findings of this research have the potential to enhance policy and service development.   The proposed research area will draw/build on the intersection of various scholarly bodies of work, intimate partner violence, educational wellbeing, human rights and help seeking behaviour. Thus, it has a strong interdisciplinary dimension.  

Primary supervisor: Dr Maria Pentaraki (Social Sciences, Education and Social Work)
Secondary supervisor: Dr Sarah Miller (Social Sciences, Education and Social Work)
External Partner/Organisation: Women’s Aid