MPs debate sexual harassment in schools

Posted on 03 November 2017

On the 2nd November members of parliament debated sexual harassment and violence in schools, following a report published last year which suggested sexual harassment among pupils had become "normalised".

In the debate Maria Miller, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee said

‘sexual abuse is a significant issue affecting a large number of children and young people in schools, particularly girls
 the Committee found that data collection on instances of such abuse is inadequate and that too often schools fail to recognise, record and report sexual harassment and sexual violence’

Labour MP John Mann said that there was an "epidemic of abusive sexual photographs of girls being circulated on a daily basis around schools" suggesting that "schools and teachers have no idea what to do about the problem"

The government also said it would issue more guidance to schools on dealing with sexual harassment, a welcome step to support schools in this area.At Childnet, we are also working to support schools around this issue, particularly in addresssing sexual harassment that is taking place online among young people.

Project deSHAME

Project deSHAME is a collaboration between Childnet, Save the Children (Denmark), Kek Vonal (Hungary) and UCLan (UK), co-financed by the EU.

Together we aim to tackle peer-based online sexual harassment among 13-17 year olds by empowering local communities including schools and police to work together to increase reporting among young people.

In close consultation with young people, professionals, industry and policymakers, Project deSHAME will:

  • Improve understanding of online sexual harassment among young people
  • Develop, implement and evaluate effective awareness raising activities and strategies co-created with young people to increase reporting
  • Develop a range of educational, training and awareness materials and tools to enable professionals from multiple sectors to effectively collaborate to prevent and respond to online sexual harassment
  • Promote mutual learning and transfer knowledge to other European countries and partners worldwide in order to promote young people’s digital rights.


The project started this year and will continue until 2019, with the launch of free educational resources and training for teachers. 

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