ICM Poll - shocking numbers of girls and young Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights suffer violence

40% OF YOUNG PEOPLE KNOW GIRLS WHOSE BOYFRIENDS HAVE COERCED OR PRESSURISED THEM INTO SEX - NEW SURVEY

42% KNOW GIRLS WHOSE BOYFRIENDS HAVE HIT THEM

ICM Survey Also Shows That Majority Of Young People Are Unsure What To Do To Help And Want More Support

A new ICM survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights campaign (EVAW) has found that 40% of young people know girls who have been coerced or pressurized into sex by their boyfriends, and 42% of young people know girls whose boyfriends have hit them.

The survey, carried out amongst people aged 16-20 across the UK and including Wales, also found that 77% of young people feel they do not have enough information and support to advise those they know who may have been the victims of physical or sexual violence.

The EVAW campaign is calling for the survey to act as a prompt for greater action from the government in combating violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, including by providing far more support and resources for young people in schools, clubs, colleges and work-places.

Over two-thirds (68%) of female respondents to the survey said that they lacked support and information for dealing with violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, while more than half of males (51%) said the same thing.

The survey had other surprising results regarding young people’s sometimes tolerant towards violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. While an overwhelming majority of respondents recognised that physical violence against a partner is unacceptable (more than 95%), a significant minority of young people held views that condoned sexual violence.

For example, 27% of young respondents thought it was acceptable for a boy to “expect to have sex with a girl” if the girl has been “very flirtatious”. The same view was held by one in twelve (8%) of young people in the case of situations where a boy/man had “spent a lot if time and money” on the girl/woman, and 11% thought that coerced sex was acceptable if sex had been initiated and the male partner was “really turned on”. In most cases these views were very clearly “male” ones, with the survey showing a significant divergence in opinion between male and female respondents.

These views reflect those revealed in a 2005 ICM poll of British adults which found that around a third of people believed that in some circumstances, such as having been flirtatious or being drunk, a woman could be held responsible for being raped.

Cathy Owens, Programme Director for Amnesty International Wales said:

“It’s shocking that so many young girls have been hit by their boyfriends or pressured into having sex. If we are going to break the cycle of violence that sees half of all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Wales suffering from some sort of violence, then we need to start with young people and their attitudes towards violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.”

“I would argue that the Assembly Government and the UK Government need to work together to combat the endemic levels of violence against girls and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Wales.”

“We have to begin challenging people’s attitudes towards violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, as well as providing better services to those girls and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who suffer from violence. The majority of young people did not know where to go for advice, so we must find a way of talking about these issues in schools.”

ENDS

For more information, contact Cathy Owens on 07738 718638

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