One in three British teenage girls ’sexually assaulted’

March 5th, 2012 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

London March 5 (IANS) A British survey has found that a third of teenage girls become victims of sexual violence by their boyfriends. Experts fear that some do not even realise they are victims of a crime and others are too terrified or embarrassed to speak out, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was helping to launch an unprecedented advertising campaign to stem the tide of abuse, told an audience of teenage girls Monday that the latest figures were shocking.

Clegg said: “We’ve got such a highly sexualised culture at the moment and there are huge pressures.

“Any parent of a teenage girl will tell you there’s huge pressures on teenage girls to conform to behave in a particular way, and I just think it’s really important we give them the protection they need that when they say ‘no’ it means ‘no’ and the law is on their side.”

Based on research by the NSPCC, a child support charity, and the University of Bristol involving 1,353 teenagers, the Home Office says a third of girls aged 13 to 17 have been the victim of some form of sexual violence from a partner.

And research shows that the problem is not just confined to girls, with 16 percent of boys also reporting that they have experienced some form of sexual violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend.

It found that the highest proportion of sexual abuse - 66 percent - is perpetrated by young people under the age of 18. It is thought that up to 900,000 young women are victims of sexual crimes that are likely to leave them scarred for life.

Further research found the highest proportion of sexual abuse is perpetrated by under-18s. Officials discovered that while most teenagers know rape is wrong, many do not realise that sex without consent is always a crime.

The advertisement - to be broadcast on TV, in cinemas and online - urges young people to rethink their view of what constitutes rape. It will be screened to viewers of TV programmes popular with teenagers such as Skins and Hollyoaks.

Research has shown some boys think girls must have sex with them if they spend enough money on them. And campaigners say teenage girls often accept abuse in a relationship because they do not realise it is wrong or know how to stop it.

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