Two mothers whose daughters were sexually assaulted at school by other pupils are calling for action to stop other pupils being attacked. It is two years since MPs recommended a range of measures, after the BBC revealed more than 5,000 sexual offences at schools in three years.
New guidelines for England’s schools this month set out their legal duty to protect children from such abuse.
The women wrote a letter to the BBC, which began: “We are two mothers. Each of us has a daughter who has been raped by a boy from their school.”
In an interview last year one of the women, the mother of “Bella”, described how her daughter had been repeatedly sexually assaulted at the age of six by boys using their fingers over many weeks.
The mother says she is clear that what happened is the physical and psychological equivalent of rape for her daughter.
They say they are “exhausted” by trying to persuade government officials to listen and also to implement in full the recommendations of the report by the Women and Equalities Select Committee.
The mothers’ letter to the BBC continued: “We have learned that it is difficult for most people to talk about child abuse when the person committing the abuse is also a child.
In a speech this week, the Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said he recognised the seriousness of peer-on-peer abuse.
“We know that it can remain under-recognised by professionals working with children and under-reported by children themselves.”
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