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Sexual violence remains widespread in universities, according to survey


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According to the largest survey ever conducted on sexual harassment among university students, 30% of incidents take place on campus.

Sexual health charity Brook and Dig-In surveyed 5,649 UK universities students and results show that only 25% of rape survivors went on to report the assault. 

More than half of the respondents (53%) had experienced unwanted sexual behaviours from other students, including but not limited to being inappropriately touched and receiving unwanted sexually explicit messages.

In addition, the survey exposed a 'significant gap in understanding of consent.' For example, 56% of students experienced unwanted sexual behaviours at university but only 15% realised that these behaviours counted as sexual harassment.

Only half of the students surveyed (52%) understood that it is not possible to give consent whilst drunk.

Helen Marshall, Chief Executive of Brook explains that relationships and sex education in schools need to include greater information on consent and harassment.

“If ever there was a reminder of the importance of high quality, comprehensive relationships and sex education (RSE) in schools and universities – this is it.

"We are failing our young people if they don’t know that the law protects them from the unwanted behaviours they are experiencing.

"Furthermore, we are failing to equip and empower young people to navigate their sexual lives and relationships.

"Brook will continue to passionately advocate for quality, sex positive relationships and sex education until we see a dramatic improvement in these sad trends.”

Image credit: Science & Engineering - University of Hull

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