A fifth of ‘school girls’ suffer sexual assault

New statistics released by Plan UK have recorded that an average of one in every five girls suffers unwanted physical contact while still in school.

22% recorded  the unwanted contact they endured quoting experiences of; ‘sexual touching, groping, flashing, sexual assault or rape while they were “in or around” school’, children’s charity Plan UK said. Within that figure 10% reported that they experienced these behaviors frequently while the rest said the experiences were ‘rare’. 

3/5 of those who suffered the incidents (61%) said they did not report what had happened which Tanya Barron, of Plan UK, said indicated that school girls have been ‘suffering in silence for decades’. ‘Unwanted sexual contact can affect a young girl’s self-esteem and educational achievements. It is extremely worrying to see that girls have been experiencing unwanted sexual contact in or around school since at least the 1940s.”

The findings are based on over 3,700 interviews with Britons aged 18 and over, including more than 2,000 women.

The statistics apply to both genders within schools, 32% (almost one in three) of adults (aged between eighteen and twenty four) reported unwanted sexual contact while inside school – such as teachers and others within education. Plan UK recorgnise that these statistics need to change.

Ms Barron has called for increased measures to protect anyone of any age within a school environment adding that it is a ‘global problem’.

A government spokesperson has also urged the public to be aware that ‘sexual assault is a crime and must always be reported to the police. Sex and relationship education is already compulsory in all maintained secondary schools and we expect academies and free schools to teach it as part of the curriculum. We are also working with leading headteachers and practitioners to look at how to raise the quality of PSHE teaching, which includes sex and relationship education.’

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