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Protect school-age sexual violence victims from classroom contact with alleged abusers say cross committee MPs

Members of the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Education Select Committee, Jess Phillips MP and Emma Hardy MP are joining forces to highlight 2018 guidance to schools about child-on-child sexual violence to help prevent victims having to share classroom space with their alleged attackers.

Recommendations published by the Government last year say in relation to allegations of rape and assault by penetration,

“Whilst the school or college establishes the facts of the case and starts the process of liaising with children’s social care and the police, the alleged perpetrator should be removed from any classes they share with the victim”.

However, recent research by Teacher Tapp show that the vast majority of teachers are not even aware the new guidance exists. Even fewer numbers had received training.

Emma Hardy MP said:

“Failing to follow guidance which has been specifically designed to support both victim and alleged perpetrator is causing significant harm. We’ve heard of several worrying cases where teenage girls have had to share a classroom with their alleged attacker. It’s no surprise to learn that these girls can’t cope and soon stop attending classes altogether. The guidance is there for a reason so it’s important to get it out there into schools and colleges so they can give the best support possible.”

Jess Phillips MP added:

“The guidance will only work if every teacher is given the tools and training so they know what to do should they be involved in supporting a young person who reports sexual violence. We’re highlighting this today and asking our fellow MPs to flag it up with schools in their own constituencies to help make sure that happens.”

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