Ireland, according to a new report launched by the University of Ulster
And one in 10 teenagers admitted regularly weapons, including knives, on
The report entitled ‘Stuck in the Middle’ was based on the opinions of 130
young men – aged between 13 and 16 – from different areas across Northern
Ireland on their experiences of violence, conflict and safety.
‘Stuck in the Middle’ was written by Trefor Lloyd, Director of the London
based charity, Working with Men. Over the past six months he has been
working as a consultant with the Centre for Young Men’s Studies at the
University of Ulster.
Headline findings from the report included:
- 1 in 10 participants said they carried weapons – including knives -
- Sectarianism, ethnicity and geography emerged as important factors in
regard to young men’s experience of violence.
- Conflict and violence impacted on their lives on most days and their
personal safety was a daily consideration.
- Young men reported conflict and violence as ‘the way it is’ and
something that was not out of the ordinary.
Dr Ken Harland, Co-Director of the Centre, said: “Very few of those
reading this paper will be surprised by anything these young men said, but
what we should be surprised about is that very little seems to have changed
in spite of the peace process.
“Too many young men appear to be ‘stuck’ between old and new beliefs and
attitudes, inhabiting a ceasefire world, rather than one that is changing
The report aims to initiate discussion and debate about the needs of young
men and the problems some young men cause within their communities, as well
as make tentative suggestions of initiatives and interventions that would
increase safety and reduce violence and conflict within communities.
The University’s Centre for Young Men’s Studies – a partnership with local
voluntary group, YouthAction Northern Ireland, is behind the survey.
The report will be launched at YouthAction Northern Ireland offices, 14
College Square North, Belfast, BT1 6AS on Tuesday, June 16, 2009, between
10.00am and 1.00pm.
The Centre for Young Men’s Studies is a partnership between the Community
Youth Work division at the University of Ulster and YouthAction Northern
Ireland. It resides within INCORE (International Centre for Conflict and
Peace Studies at the University of Ulster) and the School of Sociology and
Applied Social Studies.
The aim of the Centre is to promote a culture of learning, development and
excellence in regard to young men living in Northern Ireland through
innovative practice, training and action research.