Two thirds of young women harrassed in the last year, study shows

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Two in three women aged 16 to 34 suffered some form of harassment in the last year, a shock indepth study into the scale of the crisis in Britain has revealed.

It also showed more than five million women aged 18 to 74 were victims of some form of abuse as a child.

The appalling findings were part of the first comprehensive statistical analysis of the lasting impact of violence against women and girls, compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

They include:

  • An estimated one in three women over the age of 16 in Britain were subjected to at least one form of harassment in the last year. This increases to two in three for women aged 16 to 34.

  • Some 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 suffered domestic abuse in England and Wales in the last year.

  • Around 5.1 million women aged 18 to 74 were victims of some form of abuse as a child.

  • Eighty-one women were killed in a domestic homicide in the year ending March 2020.

  • The number of police recorded domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales rose six per cent in the year ending March 2021 to 845,734. The study said this follows increases seen in previous years and may reflect improved recording by the police alongside increased reporting by victims.

  • Demand on domestic abuse helplines rose in the year ending March 2021, with a 22 per cent increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England. The ONS added that this is not necessarily indicative of an increase in the number of victims, but perhaps an increase in the severity of abuse being experienced, and a lack of available coping mechanisms.

Meghan Elkin, the ONS’s head of crime, said: “Working across government and with charities, for the first time we have been able to bring together data sources to highlight the scale and impact of violence against women and girls.

“Our research finds that the effect of these crimes on women and girls is significant and often long-lasting.

“It is a problem which is regrettably not going away. Our evidence suggests that experiences of domestic abuse may have intensified during periods of national lockdown as victims potentially faced difficulties in safely seeking support under these conditions.”

The study comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel declared that “enough is enough” as the Government said it would make tackling the scourge of violence against women and girls its number one priority after the nation was left shocked by the murder of Sarah Everard, 33.

PC Wayne Couzens was jailed for life for her kidnap in Clapham, south London, in March, rape and killing.

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