NSPCC Survey Finds 40 Per Cent Of Teenage Girls Are Forced To Have Sex

11/02/2015 12:17 | Updated 20 May 2015

NSPCC survey finds 40 per cent of teenage girls are forced to have sex

The NSPCC says 40 per cent of girls aged 13 to 17 have been pressured into having sex or even raped.

The children's charity surveyed more than 1,000 young women across England and uncovered a frightening level of every day abuse in their relationships.

One in five teenage girls said they'd been punched, strangled or beaten with an object by a boyfriend.

And a fifth of boys thought it was OK to hit a girl if they had been unfaithful.

The NSPCC study - one of the biggest of its kind - also spoke to children from Norway, Italy, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

English girls reported the highest rate of sexual coercion.

At the same time one in five English boys harboured 'extremely negative attitudes towards women'.

England also had the most children sexting images of themselves to partners.

Just under 50 per cent of girls admitted sending sexual photographs of themselves to boyfriends, with 27 per cent only sending them because they felt pressured.

Most said the pictures had then been shared with others. A third of boys admitted sending sexually explicit photos.

The NSPCC's Dr Christine Barter, who worked with Bristol and Central Lancashire Universities, said: "Across Europe violence and abuse, both offline and online, in young people's relationships constitutes a major problem.

"Yet in most countries it remains unrecognised leaving young people with little support or appropriate services."

The NSPCC is calling on the British Government to do more to educate boys and girls about sex and relationships before more girls suffer.

Claire Lilley, head of child safety online at the charity, said: "The levels of victimisation revealed by this research shows action is urgently needed by the government to make updated sex and relationship education a statutory right for every child and young person.

"There needs to be a greater focus in schools on topics such as sexual exploitation and violence against girls and young women, as part of a balanced curriculum.

"The high rates of sexual coercion discovered need to be addressed through education and awareness raising that challenges attitudes and helps change behaviour.

"We need to nurture children to have positive relationships based on mutual respect."

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