A new report by British media about sexual assault by university staff against students highlights that UK institutions, including the church, schools and the news media have failed to address the sexual abuse of young vulnerable people, says an analyst in London.
“We’re a having a problem which is very similar to the problem we faced with the Catholic Church, but many young people did not report this abuse until much later in life,” Javier Farje told Press TV on Tuesday.
“This kind of sexual abuse against students tends to have long-term implications because we have seen in the case of the Catholic Church, how many of these young students who were abused when they were at school, still suffer the traumas of these kinds of attacks 40 years later,” Farje said.
“Most universities in the UK are involved in this situation and they don’t seem to have policies which deal with this situation. That means that the most vulnerable members of the universities, that is the students, still suffer the consequences of this situation,” he added.
Sexual assault, harassment and gender violence by university staff are at “epidemic levels” in Britain, a new report suggests, the latest in a string of institutional sex abuse accusations in the United Kingdom.
New findings from 120 universities in the UK show nearly 300 complaints of sexual misconduct were made against their staff between 2011 and 2016, according to an investigation by The Guardian newspaper.
The British daily sent Freedom of Information requests to 120 colleges and found that students made at least 169 such allegations against faculty and staff over the past five years. At least another 127 allegations about staff were made by colleagues.
But many of the alleged victims said they were discouraged from making official complaints, and either withdrew their allegations or settled for an informal resolution.
Many other victims told The Guardian they never reported the misconduct because they were concerned of the impact on their education or careers, suggesting that the true scale of the problem is far greater than the latest figures reveal.
The UK has been struggling to deal with a series of sexual abuse scandals that have raised doubts about how institutions, including the church, sports teams and the news media respond to those who are vulnerable to abuse.
A three-year investigation set up by the BBC concluded in February 2016 that Jimmy Savile, a British TV and radio celebrity who died in 2011 at age 84, had sexually abused 72 victims, including dozens of children.
More recently, a child sex abuse scandal in youth football clubs rocked the country after the police said that at least 350 former youth football players had come forward in November to report abuse by coaches in Britain.