Families of those who have suffered child sexual abuse are threatening to take legal action against the UK government. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has decided to fund a legal challenge against Justine Greening, Education Secretary, accusing her of failing to protect children from sexual harassment and abuse by their classmates. A report published a year ago by MPs showed that schoolgirls regularly experienced abuse and harassment, but that it was often dismissed as mere “banter” by staff and so often went unaddressed.
We recognise the devastation that comes from experiencing abuse at the hands of a peer, teacher, or guardian – devastation that is only worsened by institutions failing to act when they are notified of the abuse. Schools must start acting to protect their students from abuse, and when they learn that abuse is occurring must take adequate measures to protect the students.