Empowering UK Students
Last week, I wrote about the shocking statistics of sexual assault on females attending college / university in America. My enquiring mind began wondering, what are the statistics for the UK. Thinking they wouldn’t be quite as high as the US, I began sifting through articles and blogs only to find some research carried by YouthSight which shows some startling figures
- As many as ½ female students and 1/3 males know a friend or relative who has experienced intrusive sexual behaviour ranging from groping to rape
- 31% of female students polled said they had been the victim of ‘inappropriate touching or groping’
- 1 in 20 had experienced more intimate but unwelcome advances or been pressurised into sexual activity
- 34% experienced some form of assault or abuse
- 1 in 8 male students had experienced unwanted advances or groping
- 1% of students of either gender had been raped
- 43% of females who had experienced abuse did not report it
- 6 in 10 males said they had not told anyone
Are colleges and university doing enough to empower UK students?
I was shocked by those statistics and just wander how many of these allegations are investigated or are they swept under the carpet? As a ‘public authority’ colleges and universities are subject to the ‘Human Rights Act’ and the ‘Public Sector Equality Duty’. In short, this means they have a legal obligation to eliminate discrimination and protect people from harassment.
“We currently have a situation where women in the workplace are accorded more protection than young women who live as well as study at university.” Sarah Greene EVAW Coalition
While we wait for further and education to catch on and protect their more vulnerable students. Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Heath and Wellbeing at Public Health England argues that
“The research around sexual coercion and assault in universities is clear and rapidly growing.
“It is unacceptable that a third of women and 12 per cent men said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances.
“Everyone is entitled to a life free of violence and abuse.
“It is crucial that those on the ground, the students, feel confident and safe enough to take active steps when they witness a problem, or experience domestic harassment themselves.”
Don’t wait for higher education to catch up. Join our ‘Fight like a girl’ campaign now and make sure you are not the next statistic!