Women's rights

Girls not Brides calls for ban on child marriages in Britain

A global campaign to end child marriage is focusing on Britain, where campaigners say the law fails to protect under-18s.

The legal age for marriage in England and Wales is 18, but children aged 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent. Activists believe consent can mean coercion.

Girls Not Brides, a global partership of more than 1,000 organisations seeking to end child marriage, is calling for weddings of under-18s to be made illegal. Its proposals would include all cases where either party is British or lives in the UK.

Shattering Lives and Myths

How do victim-survivors experience image-based sexual abuse? The study, which was co-authored by professor Erika Rackley, from the University of Kent, and Dr Kelly Johnson of Durham University, called for image-based abuses to be reclassified as sexual offences.

It warned that current laws were a “patchwork of piecemeal and out-of-date provisions with many significant gaps”, with some requiring proof of sexual gratification or distress as motives for a charge. 

Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education: statutory guidance

The Department for Education (DfE) has published statutory guidance for schools in England on the teaching of relationships education in primary schools, relationship and sex education in secondary schools, and physical health and mental wellbeing education in state funded primary and secondary schools.

Women who are experiencing domestic abuse are nearly three times as likely to develop mental illness – new research published

Academics at the University of Birmingham have identified a significant association between mental illness and domestic abuse in UK women.

Up until now, there has been confusion whether the mental illness or the abuse came first and very few previous studies have been able to demonstrate the direction of the relationship.

This new study is the first of its kind in the UK to clearly show that the relationship runs both ways and the key findings were:

Childline sees over 6,000 counselling sessions about gender and sexual identity in the past year

Thousands of young people turned to Childline last year for help with issues including coming out and homophobic bullying.

Childline carried out 6,014 counselling sessions with children and young people about issues relating to gender and sexuality last year – on average 16 a day1.

Childline figures from the past 12 months show:

Make it mandatory for employers to take steps against workplace sexual harassment – Young Women’s Trust

Young Women’s Trust has joined forces with the TUC to call on the Government to end workplace sexual harassment by making it mandatory for employers to take preventative steps. The coalition of charities and trade unions is petitioning the minister for women and equalities, Penny Mordaunt, to put a legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces. 

Young Women’s Trust media manager Bex Bailey said:

Children and Young People’s Policy Worker – Scottish Women’s Aid – Edinburgh

Scottish Women’s Aid is Scotland’s leading voluntary sector organisation working to prevent domestic abuse and promote effective policy and practice responses for women, children and young people who experience domestic abuse.  We are the umbrella organisation for 37 autonomous Women’s Aid groups delivering direct services to women, children and young people across Scotland.

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