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UK Study Finds Over Half of Students Experienced Unwanted Advances, Assault

Over half of students at UK universities have reported experiencing unwanted advances and assault, ranging from explicit messages to rape, according to a recent survey.

Charity organization Brook and the student database Dig-In conducted a survey of 5,649 UK students and determined that a small portion of students who experienced sexual harassment report the incidents to the police or their university. Several students acknowledged they had a lack of understanding of what legally defines sexual harassment and violence, according to The Guardian.

Other findings of the study include:

  • 56 percent of respondents said they had encountered unwanted sexual behavior
  • 8 percent of respondents said they reported the assaults to the police or to university officials
  • 49 percent of female respondents said they had been inappropriately, but only 5 percent reported it
  • 26 percent of female respondents said they had received unwanted sexually explicit messages, but only 3 percent reported it
  • 30 percent of the reported incidents occurred on campus

Brook chief executive Helen Marshall called for better sex education in schools, adding that half of respondents learned about consent and under a third learned about what constitutes harassment in schools.

β€œThis worryingly low reporting rate suggests that much more needs to be done at every stage of academic life,” Marshall said. β€œIt’s really important that universities provide students with information and education on sexual harassment and the law, and ensure that their reporting procedures and support services are accessible and welcoming.”


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