Girls are more likely than boys to be victims of online sexual harassment
Nearly a third of teenage girls have been sexually harassed online by children their own age, a study from charity Childnet suggests.
Some 31% of girls aged 13-17 have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention, compared with 11% of boys.
One in 10 of the 1,559 teens interviewed reported receiving threats of sexual violence, including rape.
The government is currently preparing new guidance on how schools deal with sexual harassment.
Other findings of the report are:
- 26% of teenagers have been a victim of online rumours about their sexual behaviour
- 12% of teenagers claimed they have been pressured by partners to share naked images
- 33% of girls and 14% of boys report sexual comments posted on images they share online
- 23% know of someone secretly taking sexual images of another person and sharing them online
- Half report seeing revenge porn – sexual images taken and shared without consent – circulating online
- Almost a third (31%) have seen people their own age creating fake profiles in order to share sexual images, comments or messages
- 47% have witnessed “doxing” where young people share personal details of someone who is seen as “easy”
The report found that sexual harassment occurred across a range of platforms, from messaging apps such as WhatsApp to social media sites such as Snapchat.
Will Gardner, chief executive of Childnet said: “Digital technology plays a central role in young people’s lives but it has opened the door for a range of new forms of sexual harassment, making societal discussions about these issues more pertinent than ever.
“It is evidently something that as a society we can no longer ignore. This report underlines how essential it is that we all work together to ensure that online sexual harassment is not an inevitable part of growing up.”
The charity is working to develop educational resources to equip schools to prevent and respond to online sexual harassments among pupils.
Snapchat has made it easier for users to block and report unwanted messages by holding down on the account name and tapping to report.
It claims to respond to reports within 24 hours of being reported and it has a safety centre with guidance.
Facebook – which owns WhatsApp – has previously claimed that it takes the issue seriously and is currently funding training for one young person in every UK secondary school to support children who experience cyberbullying.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42238118 – accessed 4th December 2017
Keep a look out for the new online version of the Escape the Trap workbook. It will be available at a one off cost.
Ideal to be used with young people with mentors, counsellors, school pastoral staff, youth workers, CYP practitioners, family nurse partnership practitioners and parents or carers.
By Ewan Palmer | International Business Times – Sun, Sep 6, 2015
The number of sex crimes committed in UK schools and reported to the police during the last three years exceed 5,500, according an investigation by the BBC. Data obtained by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests show there were nearly 4,000 alleged physical assaults and more than 600 rapes.
The figures from the FOI requests show more than 1,500 victims were under 13, and in some of the cases both the victims and the suspects were just 5 years old. The requests, sent out to very police force in the UK, show some of the offences were as a result of “peer-on-peer” abuse.
One victim told the BBC about how she was assaulted in a storeroom by a fellow pupil when she was 15. A second victim, a boy who did not wish to be named, described being sexually assaulted by three of his friends in a classroom when he was 15.
“My abusers were the most popular boys in the school, they played on all the sports teams,” he said.
“The principal at the time tried to put it down to ‘rugby locker-room banter’ and didn’t seem surprised at all.”
Children’s charities have blamed easy access to hardcore pornography for “warping” youngster’s minds and their behaviour. Jon Brown, head of Sexual Abuse Programmes at the NSPCC, said: “These figures are very disturbing, especially as many victims are so young and the reported offences took place on school premises. Sadly, we are not surprised as previous NSPCC research has illustrated the scale of abuse committed by young people.
“We know that for some older children, accessing hardcore pornography is warping their view of what is acceptable behaviour. And the very young – those of primary school age or even younger – may be copying sexual activity they have witnessed.”
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, head of child protection at the National Police Chiefs Council, fears the figures may merely be the “tip of the iceberg”. “It is good news that more victims have the confidence to come forward and report abuse,” he said, “although, while I cannot prove this, I believe more child abuse is taking place.
“I want personal social health economic education with a relationships and sex component to be part of the national curriculum. Every child needs to understand what is appropriate or illegal behaviour.”
According to the Department of Education, a total of 60 children were expelled from schools in England for sexual misconduct in 2013/14. There were none in Wales or Scotland over the period.