Gender-Related Violence and Young People: An Overview of Italian, Irish, Spanish, UK and EU Legislation

by Pam Alldred and Barbara Biglia
Senior Lecturer, Brunel University London, London, UK

Agregada interina, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

CHILDREN & SOCIETY VOLUME 29, (2015) pp. 662–675

Do laws regarding violence against or sexual exploitation of young people recognize gendered and other power dynamics? Cross-national comparison of legal texts can illustrate the benefits of framing issues of violence/gender/youth in certain ways and offer critical reflection on particular legal frameworks or cultural understandings. This policy review is based on an analysis of select laws regarding gender-related violence (GRV) as relates to young people in Italy, Ireland, Spain and the UK. Here, GRV is defined as sexist, sexualizing or norm-driven bullying, harassment, discrimination or violence whoever is targeted. It therefore includes gender, sexuality and sex-gender normativities, as well as violence against women and girls. A tension emerges between granting young people agency and recognizing the multiple, intersecting power relations that might limit and shape that agency. This article draws out the implications for the UK in particular, highlighting the absence of preventative measures and the need for a broader approach to combat GRV. © 2015 The Authors. Children & Society published by National Children’s Bureau and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

GBV and young people_ policy review