Lancashire teens ‘appy’ to help stop abuse

A group of teenagers from the Youth Council in Preston have helped to create a phone app designed to reduce domestic violence.'Pictured with the new app are Youth Participation Worker Hans Mundry and Kayley White, Scott Jackson, Charity and Lauren Anderton, Emily Holt and Estelle Mikhout.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-3-2015
A group of teenagers from the Youth Council in Preston have helped to create a phone app designed to reduce domestic violence.'Pictured with the new app are Youth Participation Worker Hans Mundry and Kayley White, Scott Jackson, Charity and Lauren Anderton, Emily Holt and Estelle Mikhout. PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-3-2015
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  • Teens work with others across world to develop relationship app
  • Quizes and scenarios help youngsters work out if they are controlling or controlled
  • Studies show high level of sexual and emotional coercion on teenage girls
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Teenagers from Lancashire have designed a “life changing” new app to help young people take control of their relationships.

After two years of working with other youngsters from across the world, members of Lancashire Youth Council have developed stiritapp and website http://stiritup.eu/.

People might not know they are in a controlling relationship, this shows them what one is. Not many people know what it is, we didn’t at first, people think controlling relationships are different things.

Using quizzes and an interactive story, the app aims to help young people find out if they are in one or if they are in fact the controller. It also includes a help page where users can find details of organisations that could help.

It comes after studies showed more than four in 10 teenage schoolgirls in England reported experiencing sexual coercion, including rape. Many 13-17 year-olds had also suffered physical attacks, intimidation or emotional coercion from boyfriends.

Emily Holt, 16, was one of the contributers. She said: “People might not know they are in a controlling relationship, this shows them what one is. Not many people know what it is, we didn’t at first, people think controlling relationships are different things.”

Kayley White, 17, from Wyre, said: “I think it will make a massive difference to a lot of young people. Many are in controlling relationships and are too scared to say something but maybe they will if they know there is somewhere to go for help.”

To make the information relevant, the youngsters helped to design questionnaires that were completed by 4,500 teenagers from across Europe, as well as England.

A team of researchers from the University of Central Lancashire and University of Bristol, led by NSPCC Senior Research Fellow, Dr Christine Barter, also contributed.

The group are also planning to go into schools to promote the app and are designing posters for schools, youth clubs and other places where young people can see the information.