CELEBRITY rappers, gang culture and binge-drinking have been blamed for the level of teenage domestic abuse almost trebling in just four years.

According to new statistics, there were 837 cases of domestic abuse committed last year by 16-18-year-olds compared with 290 cases in 2000.

Overall increases in the reporting of domestic abuse have traditionally been attributed to campaigns encouraging victims to come forward. However, the most recent Scottish Executive figures indicate disproportionate increases specifically among young men.

Experts believe the increase is a result of Scotland's acceptance of gang culture and violence.

"Rap music does not cause domestic violence but the kind of culture that emphasises porn in songs with lyrics like, 'tie my bitch down' is going to have an impact and make it seem acceptable to some, " said Mairead Tagg, a psychologist with Scottish Women's Aid.

"Unfortunately there is a growing culture of gangs and violence among young men who think it is acceptable to hit their girlfriends and other men."

The figures also show there has also been an increase of almost 70-per cent in the number of victims aged 16 to 18.

Overall, the number of perpetrators of all ages recorded by the police has increased by almost 30-per cent, from 22,279 in 2000 to 42,176 in 2004.

Violent crime is the only type of offence which has increased in recent years in Scotland.

A study by the Zero Tolerance trust found that more than half of males aged between 14 and 21 thought it was acceptable to hit their girlfriends.

Professor Vince Egan, a forensic psychologist at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: "This reflects the heightening aggression of the time and the cultural problem in the west of Scotland, with a lack of self-regulation when it comes to alcohol and violence.

"Music used to be about love and having a good time but now it refers to women as 'hos' and 'bitches'. This appears to reinforce criminalisation and violence as acceptable.

"In Glasgow, in particular, there are young women who choose men because of their reputation for violence and then discover it will also be used against them."

Paddy O'Donnell, professor of psychology at Glasgow University, claimed that rap lyrics were "unlikely to lead to a real increase" in domestic abuse.

He said: "The real causes of domestic abuse are known to be structural features of society such as economic stress, mental illness and abuse of drugs and alcohol."

Throughout Scotland, police recorded 10-per cent more cases of domestic abuse last year than in 2003.

While there was concern about the increase, support groups said that it was a sign that campaigns to increase awareness and encourage reporting were working.

Lynn Jamieson, professor of sociology at Edinburgh University, added: "This is worrying. Even if the figures have been inflated by changes in police practice, these figures indicate that we have got a long way to go in terms of addressing this problem."

Christine Grahame, the SNP shadow social justice spokeswoman, said: "This exposes a chronic failure of executive policy over the past five years . . . in tackling this problem, despite endless and expensive TV campaigns aimed at ending domestic abuse."



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50 Cent


Bitch choose with me, I'll have you stripping in street Put my other hos down, you get your ass beat

Snoop Dogg

Bitch Please

I'm tryin' to work this cold thing And take this whole thing I get the money everywhere that I go I bust a bitch and take her money fo' sho'