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Want to help tackle sexual bullying in schools?

(44 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Jun-11 14:53:32

The End Violence Against Women coalition has launched a new campaign which aims to tackle sexual bullying, harassment and violence in schools. They want girls to feel safe while they're learning, and for schools to help end violence against women and girls through education.

EVAW's research threw up some pretty grim figures:
Nearly one in three 16-18 year-old girls have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school in the UK.
Close to one in four 16-18 year-olds said that their teachers never told them that unwanted sexual touching, sharing of sexual pictures or sexual name-calling was unacceptable.
One in two boys and one in three girls believe that there are some circumstances when it is okay to hit a woman or force her to have sex.

The EVAW campaign calls for all teachers to be trained in dealing with the issue; for schools and academies to be required to collect and report data on violence against young women and girls in schools, including sexual harassment and bullying; and for Ofsted to inspect on how schools deal with it.

If you'd like to help, EVAW wants you to email Michael Gove, and/or to ask your MP to sign an Early Day Motion calling for violence against women and girls to be addressed through education. If you're pressed for time, they've provided a template letter - so it really should take just a few ticks.

Please do come back to the thread to let us know if you've managed it, or if this is something that you or your family have experienced.

veritythebrave Thu 23-Jun-11 16:36:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheMonster Thu 23-Jun-11 16:55:12

"Close to one in four 16-18 year-olds said that their teachers never told them that unwanted sexual touching, sharing of sexual pictures or sexual name-calling was unacceptable."
As a teacher, I suspect that is more likely to mean that one in four weren't listening.

OrangeHat Thu 23-Jun-11 18:28:49

That's interesting thank you for posting it.

Eeyore what do you think of the other stats?

JustGetOnWithIt Thu 23-Jun-11 19:35:27

It seems 'Mumsnet' is developing an obsession with sex and children. First, do you really think it is legitimate to campaign on the basis of a public forum comprising a wide range of views, second, the problem with these campaigns (your sexualisation campaign has the same problem) is that they always overplay the most negative aspects of life and scare the living daylights out parents and in this case, teenage girls.

overthemill Thu 23-Jun-11 20:48:27

justgetonwithit MN is just telling us about this campaign, not saying it is endorsing it. And yes some campaigns do highlight the negative, i'm thinking of 'end child poverty', NSPCC's 'stop' campaign and others. why would a campaign be needed to against positive actions?

HerBeX Thu 23-Jun-11 21:01:10

Are you in favour of girls being sexually harrassed at school justgetowithit?

What exactly is not to like about this campaign?

PippiLongBottom Thu 23-Jun-11 21:38:36

This type of sexual touching happened weekly to me in 4th/5th year. I had very large breasts and was also groped in the street by a stranger and in a restaurant by a waiter.
In a CDT class at school we played a game of strip poker which wasn't stopped by the teacher. WTF to the teacher, and WTF to my 15 year old self.

wheeler Thu 23-Jun-11 22:04:54

i had to put up with groping and the like at school in the 80s90s too and i'm glad someone's putting this on the agenda. it's not ok for schools to be ignoring it, with a kind of view that it's just what boys do. i wouldn't put up with it at work now, so why haven't we sorted it out in schools? i don't want girls frightened of what might happen to them but i certainly don't want this stuff kept quiet cos we're all either too embarrassed to deal or not sure what to do...

piprabbit Thu 23-Jun-11 23:48:13

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

BTW the template letter to MPs has a typo - it is missing the number of the EDM.

GeekLove Fri 24-Jun-11 07:40:04

It's not just within schools as well. There is a significant minority of people who think that sexually harassing young girls in public is acceptable if they think it is funny.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 08:19:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RamblingRosa Fri 24-Jun-11 09:04:14

Great campaign. Well done MN for supporting. And biscuit to JustGetOnWithIt. If you look at the campaign you'll see that it's proposing positive and feasible solutions to a serious problem. It's not about scaring girls/parents. It's about highlighting a very serious issue which is all too often swept under the carpet.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 09:32:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpringchickenGoldBrass Fri 24-Jun-11 12:31:42

Yes, good idea and all that, but it will go the same way as Reg Fucking Bailey and turn into yet another exercise in slutshaming and convincing young girls that sex is a Bad Thing and if they ever let their guard down men will do it to them and their lives will be ruined.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 12:56:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Threadworm8 Fri 24-Jun-11 13:14:43

Sexist behaviour and abuse related to sexuality are already in my sons' secondary school's anti-bullying policy statement, and the relevant issues are covered in their lessons for personal, social, etc, education. So it is not an unaddressed issue. The calls for specific reporting of sexual harrassment, and for Ofsted to look at that in particular, seem valuable, though.

HerBeX Fri 24-Jun-11 13:29:18

You'd be surprised by how unaddressed it is in many schools Thread.

It simply is not taken as seriously as racist bullying.

But then, sexism isn't taken as seriously as racism.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 14:06:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Threadworm8 Fri 24-Jun-11 14:24:36

Lenin, I think that is intended to be covered under terms like 'bullying related to sexuality.' I suppose that the reality is that sexual harrassment and homophobia are addressed formally, but how adequately they are covered in fact will vary from school to school -- which is why the collection of statistics and the examination of related matters by Ofsted seemed potentially valuable.

I'm just conscious that many/most MNers don't have children at sec school and might not be aware that the issue is addressed (but not necessarily addressed well).

A rep from an LGBT support organisation travels around schools in our area to talk to pupils. I don't know if she has been to our school, but I know from some vol sector work I used to do that she was pretty active in schools.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 15:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerBeX Fri 24-Jun-11 15:43:24

I think they're all collated by LEA's Lenin - all schools have to report every incidence of racial harrassment to the LEA.

Not sexist ones though, AFAIK. Not sure of homophobic ones.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 24-Jun-11 16:21:25

Stonewall's research about homophobic bullying in secondaries is collated here

HerBeX Fri 24-Jun-11 16:48:35

You know what's quite depressing about that?

"Homophobic bullying is the second most frequent form of bullying (happening ‘very often’ or ‘often’) after bullying because of weight and three times more prevalent than bullying due to religion or ethnicity."

They don't even mentioning sexual bullying. It's like it doesn't even exist because they don't recognise it when it happens.

I think a robust approach to homophobic bullying, would also help in the fight against sexual bullying - it has a knock on effect and ties into the same sorts of attitudes.

LeninGrad Fri 24-Jun-11 16:50:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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