- Justine Greening MPSecretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
- John Swinney MSPDeputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Scotland)
- Kirsty Williams AMCabinet Secretary for Education (Wales)
End sexual harassment in schools
Groped in the corridor, a hand up our skirts at break time, shown pornographic images in class, or sexual comments about our bodies yelled after us down the corridor. These are some of our day-to-day experiences of sexual harassment at school and we know we’re not alone.
Three in five girls and young women across the UK say they’ve experienced sexual harassment at school or college, including sexual taunts and unwanted touching. We need urgent action to end this widespread and often hidden scandal.
So many times, as girls, we’re told our school skirts are too short and ‘distracting’, we should be flattered not offended when we’re cat-called, we shouldn’t be so sensitive when boys spend a whole lesson rating our ‘boobs’ out loud and we should take sexist jokes as just a bit of ‘banter’. But this isn’t about what girls wear, how they behave or how they do or don’t react.
We believe all girls and young women deserve to feel safe and happy at school, not objectified and harassed. It sounds obvious but the culture of sexual harassment at schools today is so normalised that feeling safe is far from our reality.
Now is a crucial moment to make real change because the Government is against the clock. The Women and Equalities Select Committee has made common sense recommendations about how Government should tackle this issue in schools in England and it has two months to respond.
We’re calling on government ministers with responsibility for schools across not only England but Scotland and Wales too to listen and act. We want to see:
- All schools have a duty to prevent and tackle sexual harassment and be held accountable
- National guidance to ensure schools know how to take a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment
- Compulsory, high-quality Relationships and Sex Education in all schools, covering consent, online abuse, gender equality and healthy relationships.
90% of girls of secondary school age want the Government to take action on this. If you agree, sign our petition and help us make safer schools a top priority. We want to go back to school this time next year knowing all our schools have got our backs.
Abiee Harris, Annabel Davies-Ray, Ashvini Rae, Charlotte Forrester, Elena Veris Reynolds, Emma Cooper, Hannah Brisbane, Hannah Stubbs, Katherine Bradfield, Katie Horsburgh, Larissa Kennedy, Maria Fernandes, Mathilde Tranter, Niamh Griffin, Olivia Taylor, Susie McGuinness, Victoria Jenkinson
Sources for statistics and more information available click here.
- Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
Justine Greening MP
- Deputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Scotland)
John Swinney MSP
- Cabinet Secretary for Education (Wales)
Kirsty Williams AM
End sexual harassment in schools
Girlguiding Advocates started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,923 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.