Cheyne Howard's first relationship was characterised by intimate partner violence, but being just 16 when she entered it, she did not know what she was experiencing.
"My understanding of [domestic violence] was physical and sexual violence, I didn't understand the other forms it could take," Ms Howard said.
It was this experience that compelled the University of Wollongong student to establish duck dv, an advocacy organisation that aims to ensure young people are educated on intimate partner violence.
Newly created, duck dv is currently focused on raising awareness of the issue and sharing resources that provide information on the different forms intimate partner violence can take, through its social media platforms.
But Ms Howard wants to take its advocacy further by engaging with the government on introducing education on intimate partner violence in schools, so young people can recognise and act upon it.
"If I had known the signs [of intimate partner violence], I would have been able to recognise what was happening and been able to tell someone... and ask for help. But I didn't know," she said.
It was only at the age of 21, after her partner verbally abused her in front of family and friends at her own birthday party, that the relationship came to an end.
Ms Howard also wants to work with government on creating a specific support service for young people who experience such violence, because most of the services available specifically for youth focus on family violence within the home, and not those who experience violence from a partner.
A national study from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reveals 29 per cent of 18 and 19-year-olds have experienced intimate partner violence in the past year.
A quarter of teenagers in this age group experienced emotional abuse, 12 per cent were subjected to physical violence, and 8 per cent suffered sexual violence from their partners.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows sexual violence is most prevalent against women aged 18 to 24, and almost 54 per cent of women who experienced sexual assault did so at the hands of a partner or date.
Since launching duck dv in October, Ms Howard said she already had people who were eager to get involved reach out.
Ms Howard is also taking aim at media coverage of the recent murder of Lilie James, who died at St Andrew's Cathedral School in Sydney's CBD in October.
In an open letter published on duck dv's social media platforms, she highlights the extensive media coverage of Ms James' death compared to other victims of suspected domestic violence murders and suggests the background of Ms James' alleged killer - a young man from a well-off background - is the reason why.
Ms Howard accuses news.com.au and the Daily Mail of sensationalising the deaths of women like Ms James for clicks on stories and ignoring the deaths of other women.
She wants an apology for Ms James' family.
"According to news tabloids, your life is only worth as much as the person who kills you... according to Australian tabloids, people don't care about who died," she wrote.
"They only care about who killed them (and how good of a person they were despite being charged with murder)."
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