New survey reveals alarming prevalence of domestic abuse suffered by students in Wales and confirms shocking view of sexual assault
Amnesty International and NUS Wales have today called for the Welsh Assembly Government, and Universities and Colleges in Wales to tackle violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights students following the publication of a new survey showing high levels of domestic abuse and a worrying tolerance regarding sexual assault.
The survey of over 700 students across campuses in Wales, launched today at the Senedd by Nerys Evans AM, showed that half of the students did not know what advice to give a woman who had suffered domestic abuse, 46% did not have enough information and support to tackle the problem and 65% thought that there should be services on campus to help students who have suffered from violence.
The survey also highlighted a shocking level of tolerance for sexual violence amongst students, similar to that of the wider population. A third of students think a woman is in some way responsible for being raped or sexually assaulted if she is drunk, or if she has acted in a flirtatious manner. A quarter think a woman is in some way to blame if she is walking alone in a deserted area.
The survey revealed that:
Cathy Owens, Programme Director for Amnesty International Wales said:
"If we are going to break the cycle of violence that sees a third 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 by challenging attitudes towards violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights amongst students and the population at large. The Welsh Assembly Government should consider a comprehensive campaign aimed at preventing violence – making it far less acceptable on our campuses and in our communities."
Jo Roberts, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's Officer for NUS Wales said:
"We have been calling for some time for better services for students who have suffered violence, and these results confirm not only that domestic abuse amongst students occurs far too often, but that students don’t know where to turn when it happens. The Universities and Colleges need to think again about the welfare of their students."
Nerys Evans AM said:
"I was disappointed to see these results, but feel they chime with what I have seen both on campus and in the wider population. With a committee inquiry into how the Assembly Government is combating domestic abuse, now is the time to look again at how much we are investing both in preventing abuse and helping the victims.
"The results on attitudes towards sexual assault are also difficult to read. There is a real need to tackle the suggestion that a woman can be responsible for being raped."