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English schoolgirls feed pigeons at London's Trafalgar Square. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

Sobering stats

More than half of U.K. schoolgirls have been sexually harassed, report finds

September 13, 2016

A steep majority of girls in British schools and colleges have experienced sexual harassment, according to a parliamentary committee report.

The report, which surveyed girls between the ages of 16 and 18, found that almost one-third of female students had fielded unwanted sexual touching while at school. Students also told the committee that teachers often dismiss sexual harassment as “banter” and fail to take any action against perpetrators.

“Surely no one who reads or hears these striking statistics today could now deny how serious … this problem is,” Katie Russell of Rape Crisis, a charity for survivors of sexual abuse, told Reuters.

In an effort to combat pervasive sexual misconduct in schools, the report calls for comprehensive sex education to be provided to all children in primary and secondary school. The U.K. currently mandates sexual education in secondary school, but does not require schools to teach children about relationships and sexual consent.

Read the full story at Reuters.



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