Tech Vs Abuse

A co-designed digital platform to support young people in recognising abuse


Young people are less likely than adults to recognise when they are in abusive or coercive relationships and are less likely seek out support services. The traditional language and narrative around domestic abuse has limited relevance to young relationships and this can have an isolating effect, preventing young people from coming forward.

Abuse is not always physical; it can be psychological, financial, emotional and we need a deeper understanding of how young people experience these types of violence and control in their relationships. A person is most likely to experience domestic abuse in their first relationship and the majority of these will occur during teenage years.

We will work alongside those with experiences of being in controlling and abusive relationships to surface a new way of talking about the complexities of abuse in young relationships. Drawing on their insight, we will work through a co-design process to develop a digital tool that can help young people to recognise patterns of behaviour when they arise.


We are currently in the early stages of the project, bringing together a steering circle of young women across the UK who have experienced abusive relationships. Our first step will be to better understand their digital journeys during those periods of their lives and the words they use to describe that experience. We will take their lead in designing a digital space for others to use to come forward and be heard. This time-bound project is aiming for a longer legacy of contribution to a fresh public narrative around domestic abuse, and for that shift to increase the relevance of support pathways for young people.


We are working with Safe Lives, supported by Comic Relief.