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577 Young girls experiences of peer violence
  1. Tordis Kristine Søvde
  1. University of the Artic, Norway

Abstract

Background The purpose of the study was to develop knowledge about violence among teenagers, espcially young girls and their strategies and capacities to deal with this. The population of the Northern Region of Norway statistically is exposed to a greater extent of violence compared with the rest of the country. In the Norwegian context the national criminal statistics show that 24% of the % of the boys og 12% girls are exposed to violence.

Methods This paper investigates if and how girls aged 13–22 years in the Finnmark county of Norway experience actions of violence in their relationships of peers as well as their capacities to deal with such incidents. The eleven interviews were semistructured quality interviews, based on an interview guide, They were documented anonymously, recorded, transcribed and finally analysed by categorization into themes (Kvale 2009). They were one in depth interview eleven The theoretically approaches were based on the social constructive views.

This project was two year study, financed by Sanks, the Sami National Competence Centre of Youth Pscychiatry. by my colleague, Monica Bjerklund, and myself being assistant professors of social work at the Finmark University College, Alta, Norway The project was a follow-up of our former Media Analysis of Youth Violence in the regional papers The eleven female informants were recruited through a Sami boarding school, and the informants came from different places in the county. Norwegian legislation has strict rules about confidentiality and age, but these were avoided since our eleven informants were 18 years of age, the Norwegian age of majority. at the time of the interview The Norwegian National Board of Research Ethics were asked of permission, and did not give any research restrictions of interviewing those young girls.

Results

  • The findings show that all the girl informants Finmark Norway had experienced violence among their peers

  • The analyses of the interviews illustrated the variations of violence from the the young girls had been exposed to, some as witnesses, or different kinds of physical and psyic violence and threaths from rape to physically bullying.

  • Some girls had beaten and kicked other girls as a revenge for «stealing» their boyfriends.

  • Two girls had assaulted a boy on the homeway from their school.

  • Some of the informants with experiences as victims of bullying at school, felt they did not get help but were met by passively and partly belittteling attitudes.from the schools and authorities.

  • One aspect is that most of of the girl victims had kept quiet and told nothing to their families and friends about those incidents

  • Another aspect is that to stop the violence some of them had moved to another place to get away from the perpetrator, often by presentig other reasons for moving,

Conclusions Young girls are more exposed as the victims of the youth violence than parents and the authorities know about. Some of the young girls feel to ashamed to tell their parents. It is important to identify the need for help to the young victims, and make good programs for preventions as well as advocating for increased political will and greater attention and resources for raising awareness about the problem of youth violence.

  • young
  • experiences
  • perpetrator
  • attitudes

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