Shocking 37% rape increase in London

by Lucy Halfhead

Marie Claire World News

Pupils are to be given lessons about rape and the law of consent as part of a new campaign to reduce violent crime in London.

The move follows concern that the 37% increase in the number of rapes reported in London over the past 12 months is being driven partly by a high volume of ‘acquaintance attacks’ in which one partner has failed to obtain proper consent.

Under the plans, schools will be asked to spell out to children that it is a crime to have sex without a girl's agreement. Pupils will also be told that it is unlawful to take advantage of a woman who is drunk and warned about excessive alcohol consumptionleading to rape.

The reform is one of a number of measures that will be implemented by the new London Crime Reduction Board announced today by Mayor Boris Johnson and Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

Concerns about rising rape figures were highlighted in a recent Government-commissioned review, which found that most victims know their attacker.

Estimations of the number of women raped or sexually assualted in the UK every year range from 47,000 to 100,000. It is thought that around one in four women are victims of sexual violence in their lifetimes.

Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said: ‘Sexual violence and rape in particular is an area where the police need help. There are serious issues about what consent means for young people and the role of alcohol in the rise of rape in London.’

But Margaret Morrissey, founder of the lobby group Parents Outloud and a critic of the scheme, pointed to drugs education campaigns that had backfired and increased the rate of drug-taking. 'We already have so many different agencies trying to give information to our youngsters that in the end it becomes a mass of confusion,' she said.

What do you think of the new scheme? Do you think it will help cut violent crime or are children already being bombarded with messages about sex at school? Let us know by posting a comment below.

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