Yesterday Emma Hardy MP and Jess Phillips MP released a video on Twitter about peer-on-peer sexual assault between children from the same school. A parent writes in Tes.
Why do two busy Labour MPs feel the need to make a video, and to write to every MP about this issue?
Simple. Because the Department for Education isn’t taking effective action to ensure that all schools know how to protect children in our schools from and after sexual harassment and sexual violence.
In July 2016, the Commons Women and Equalities Committee revealed that there is one rape in school for every school day, countless sexual assaults and widespread sexual harassment.
Nothing, quite literally nothing, was achieved in the 15 months that followed. Let’s be brutal: fifteen months of inaction translates into 200 more school rapes.
Then a 16-year-old victim started legal action against the education secretary, then Justine Greening, for her failure to protect girls at school. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first draft of the new statutory guidance appeared at speed after that. One could take from this series of events that protecting politicians from legal action is a priority whereas protecting children from rape isn’t.
This guidance eventually came into effect in September 2018, 27 months after the rape stats were revealed. That’s more than 400 school rapes later.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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