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The top prosecutor has warned that access to internet pornography was causing violent behaviour among teenage relationships

Date: (6 July 2012)    |    

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The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, has said that he was concerned about the prevalence of internet pornography which was affecting teenage relationships with increasing incidents of violence.
The top prosecutor has warned that emerging research has shown that the exposure of young people to all sort of material was leading to a lot of abuse within teenage relationships.
The Crown Prosecution Service is now reviewing whether action needs to be taken about the surge in domestic violence cases between teenagers.
Mr Starmer had warned last year that a whole new generation was staring at domestic violence in teenage relationships.
The DPP has shown figures which showed teenage girls aged 16 to 19 were at the highest risk of sexual assault, stalking and domestic abuse. Women aged 20 to 24 were only slightly less at risk. Violence against 13 to 15 year olds was similar to that of over 16 and those from poor background were twice as likely to be abused by violent teenage partners.
A study by the Bristol University and NSPCC last September also found that physical, sexual and emotional abuse was common among 13 to 18 year olds who were not in mainstream education.
Conservative MP David Rutley, who was also a parliamentary aide to Home Office minister Damian Green, said that ‘Keir Starmer’s comments were an important contribution to the debate. The Government would be right to take a real interest in this issue and seek why the internet service providers must step up to the plate and start protecting children online.
Senior ministers were currently consulting on whether parents should have to opt in to have pornography accessible from every device in their home.
Experts, including child psychologists, have warned that teenagers are engaging in increasingly risky and extreme sexual behaviour after viewing porn. The material had skewed their perceptions of what a normal, healthy sexual relationship involved.
Teenage girls were also complaining that their partners were becoming increasingly rough or violent.
Jon Brown, head of the NSPCC’s sexual abuse programme said today’s children were just a few clicks away from viewing adult sexual content, which in the past could only legally be found on the top shelf in newsagents and licensed adults-only sex shops.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport angered campaigners earlier this year by suggesting it was ruling out the idea of an automatic block on porn, on civil liberties grounds. However, Daily Mail’s campaign, has made the ministers to include questions about the opt-in system in a public consultation document.