what we do
Young mums are often seen as a problem. Negative stereotypes in the media mean they are often criticised for their choices.
Young mums get a bad press
Policy makers, newspapers, radio and TV often show teenage pregnancy and young mums as a problem, citing 'an epidemic' of teenage mums who are often seen as ignorant, irresponsible, or incapable of being good parents.
Research shows how these untrue stereotypes have a profound effect on how young mums are treated by the public and by some of the people who work in services designed to support them.
Becoming a young mum should not automatically be seen as a problem.
Teenage pregnancy is complex; often linked to poverty, low educational achievement and low self-esteem. We believe it is important to recognise that some young women make a positive choice to become pregnant and have a child, and that many find pregnancy and motherhood as rewarding an experience as older mothers do.
What is the real problem?
Rather than pregnancy and motherhood, it is often the ongoing social exclusion and poverty experienced by young mums which make young motherhood 'problematic'.
Research shows that teenage mums are more likely than their peers to live in poverty - and to stay there because of lack of access to education, childcare and support services. Young mums need respect and support.
Whatever the factors behind a young woman's pregnancy and her choice to have a child, Platform 51 believes that young mums should be supported to maximise their choices and life chances and those of their children.
Despite the barriers and disadvantages they face, young mums can create happy and successful families.
To find out more visit our Respect young mums website.
After having a child, many women become trapped in part-time, low-paid and low-status work
...girls and young women need practical and sensible sex education if they are to make realistic, informed and considered choices when they do become sexually active
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“Before I came to Platform 51 I was being bullied and hardly spoke to anyone. Platform 51 has given me the confidence to face my challenges.”
55% of 12- to 15-year-olds and 57% of girls aged 16 to 17 have not been taught how to use a condom