Youths think it is OK to control their partners

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ONE out of three youths considers it inevitable or acceptable to control their partner’s behaviour in certain situations, says a study.

Things like policing their partner’s schedule, preventing them from seeing their family or friends, not allowing them to work or study, or simply telling them what to or no to do are behaviours considered as normal for many young people.

The data was released in the Gender-Based Social Perception During Adolescence and Youth report, introduced today (January 27) by head of the National Department of Social Services and Equality, Susana Camarero, and head of the National Department of Gender-Based Violence, sociologist Veronica de Miguel.


A total of 2,500 people of ages ranging between 15 and 29 years old were interviewed during the study.

It showed that younger people are more tolerant to controlling behaviours and that 33 per cent considered it normal to control their partners in certain cases.

A total of 96 per cent of women interviewed and 92 per cent of men considered gender-based violence ‘totally unacceptable,’ however. Ms De Miguel explained: “When we look further, we notice that not all forms of gender-based violence produce the same level of rejection, and not all forms – for instance, controlling behaviours – are seen as violence.”

While physical and sexual violence is completely unacceptable for 97 per cent of interviewees and verbal violence for 93 per cent of them, only 66 per cent of participants considered controlling their partners as problematic behaviour.

However, awareness campaigns have shown to be successful, according to Ms De Miguel, who added: “Out of those who remember an awareness campaign, 71 per cent sees controlling violence as unacceptable, while the figure drops to 64 per cent for those who do not remember any of those campaigns, which makes us believe that the message is making an impression.”

The study also shows that a third of all youths interviewed know a victim of sexist violence, in 21 per cent of the cases, a minor.

A total of 58 per cent of them claim that they would call the police if faced with a case of violence, while 23 per cent would face the attacker themselves (32 per cent amongst male interviewees).

In addition, 81 per cent are aware of the law against gender-based violence and the emergency number 016.


  1. I think that we as a society must look ourselves and question why are we still having gender-based violence. Controlling the partner is another kind of violence isn’t it? Now that we know we’re doing it and it’s wrong we can change that, don’t we?


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