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Saturday 19 October 2019

Domestic abuse among teenagers rampant - Ainie

Campaigner Ainie Grainger. Photo: PA
Campaigner Ainie Grainger. Photo: PA

A campaigner has said domestic abuse is rampant among young teenagers and more should be done to tackle it.

Ainie Grainger (21), from Dublin, suffered mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father from an early age.

Ainie, who has been campaigning on behalf of victims since she was 13, advises youngsters about how to deal with domestic violence.

She said she has helped hundreds of men and women through her work with her mother Priscilla and their campaign group, Stop Domestic Violence In Ireland.

"I use Snapchat and Insta- gram for an advice service, people can message me and it won't look suspicious on their phones," Ainie said.

"I get so many messages from young people who are either suffering violence from a parent or their partner, and some of them are so young.

"With young people these days, domestic abuse is rampant. I think the amount of drugs available to young people adds to the problem, and a lot of the time they might grow up looking at their parents' toxic relationship as a model and repeat the pattern.

Dedicated

"When you're starting out in relationships, you don't know what's normal, and parents have no idea what's happening.

"Both boys and girls come to me and tell me what's happ- ening, but I don't know of any dedicated service for young adults who have suffered domestic violence.

"I use social media to let them know they're not alone, I've been through it too and I've come out the other side and I'm living the life I want.

"It's not always easy, but you can do it."

Ainie has called for more services for young people who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence and the consequences that come with it.

"The consequences are always ongoing, panic attacks, anxiety, lasting mental health problems," she said.

"There are services for women and services for children, but I think a dedicated service is necessary to help young adults and teenagers.

"If we don't start addressing the problems at that age, they'll manifest into something else or you're doomed to repeat the pattern."

Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence, she added.

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