Abuse Lawyers Back Calls For Changes To Tackling Sexual Harassment In Schools

MPs Developing New Plan To Tackle Harassment Of Girls In School

13.09.2016

Expert sexual abuse lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell have backed calls from MPs for the creation of a better plan to tackle the issue of sexual harassment in schools.

 

A number of MPs have claimed that there currently is no clear plan to tackle the issue and according to a Commons Women and Equalities Committee report, sexual harassment of girls in schools is often accepted as part of school life.

 

The MPs heard evidence from young people that their schools were failing to take reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault seriously.

 

In 2015, figures obtained by the BBC following a Freedom of Information request indicated more than 5,500 alleged sex crimes in UK schools were reported to police in the previous three years.

 

Tracey Storey, a Partner and expert abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented those affected by sexual abuse in their childhoods, said:

 

Expert Opinion
“It is extremely concerning that the report has found there is no clear plan to tackle sexual harassment issues in our schools and that many young people feel reports they made were not taken seriously.

“We’re glad MPs have now called for a clear and better plan to tackle this issue, which is becoming more and more prevalent in schools. From our experience we understand that sexual harassment, violence and abuse at a young age can seriously impact the way young people develop, with these incidents causing serious problems in later life.

“It is important children feel able to come forward to report these issues knowing that they will be taken seriously and investigated properly and that they will be provided with the help and support they may need to deal with the longer-term consequences.”
Tracey Storey, Partner

 

The report made a number of recommendations to tackle the issue, including clear national guidance on the prevention of sexual harassment in schools, that schools' responses to such incidents to be assessed in inspections, as well as a statutory requirement for high quality, age appropriate sex education, starting in primary schools.