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Rape education in London schools

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Under plans announced today by London Mayor Boris Johnson and Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, children in London schools are to be given lessens on rape and the issues surrounding it.

The move is part of a campaign to deal with violent crime in the capital, in particular a 37% increase in rapes over the last twelve months.

In response to concerns that ‘acquaintance attacks’ may well be responsible for this increase, schools will be expected  to emphasise that it is a crime to have sex without a woman’s agreement, and that excessive alcohol consumption is not an excuse to take advantage.

Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said the aim of the educational programme was largely preventative: “Sexual violence and rape in particular is an area where the police need help. There are serious issues about what consent means for young people and the role of alcohol in the rise of rape in London. That can only be solved by educating young people properly.”

It’s nice to see a campaign and police response to rape that actually takes into account the circumstances where the greatest incidences of sexual crimes take place.

And even better to see greater emphasis on prevention through creating a culture in which consent is essential, rather than the usual tired old advice warning women and girls against venturing outdoors after dark.

If this works for London, lets hope we see it rolled out around the UK.

To read the full story, see the London Evening Standard.

  1. This story struck me as we had a similar announcement in Northern Ireland today. Except that while London gets progressive workshops for young people in order to tackle the problem of acquaintance rape, we get a public awareness campaign called ‘Be SMART’ with helpful victim blaming advice that seems to focus on telling women not to drink and make bad decisions. I despair! Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11648218

    • Thanks for that story Kellie, we’ll try to get that up today. I see what you mean about “victim blaming”. I don’t know if you have any connections with a rape/sexual abuse advice centre in NI but if you do, you could direct them to the info about the London workshops and see if they can influence anyone to introduce these in NI as opposed to the BeSMART approach.

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