Taking action

Here are things you can do if you want to help protect victims of sexual assault

Do you think the Department for Education guidance for schools should explain clearly HOW the Human Rights Act applies to cases of child on child sexual assault, so that schools know how to protect a victim after sexual assault? If you do, please write to your MP to make this point. Ask your MP to demand that the guidance is urgently updated to set out clearly HOW a victim should be protected in school by under Articles 3, 8, 14 and Protocol 1 of Article 2.

Don’t leave your MP under any illusions about how important it is for victims to be able to feel safe in school after a sexual assault. You may want to point out that the failure to protect a victim’s human rights disproportionately affects girls and the Department of Education has a public sector equality duty to prevent discriminatory practices in schools. Remind them of the devastating consequences of the failure to provide proper guidance to schools. Point out that when victims are not protected in school after a sexual assault, they often feel they have to leave their school or they drop out of education altogether. Draw their attention to the the tragic case of 12 year old Semina Halliwell who was raped by an older boy from her school, was not protected from contact with him in school, and took an overdose. 

Share the link to the advice page for parents and carers. It’s good for people to have this information before they need it. Share the advice with friends and relatives and on social media.  When we collectively understand our legal rights and start asserting the law to protect victims then schools will start to understand their legal obligations. 

Contact your school and share with them the advice for parents. Ask them for reassurance that they do understand the school’s legal obligations under Article 3 and 8 in particular.

Contact your local authority. Share the advice for parents with them, and ask whether their MASH team are aware of a victim’s legal rights under the Human Rights Act?  Ask whether MASH officers are confident that all schools are completing a written Article 3 investigation when a police investigation closes. Invite them to contact us for support if they are not confident email contact@metooschool.org.uk