It's not OK
The first week of February is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, and the hashtag for this is #itsnotOK. While it should be self-evident that abuse and violence is never acceptable, it is sadly not as unusual as it should be. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reports that some 20% of women and 4% of men may have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, and that as many as 3% of women and 0.8% of men may experience this in any one year.
This is not a small issue. Abuse and violence can leave people traumatised, with long lasting mental health impacts. The additional strain on relationships and families over the last year with lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have undoubtedly made things harder for many, and reports of domestic abuse are sadly increased. This is an issue we all need to be talking about and looking out for, because it is never OK for someone to be abused, whatever their age, personal circumstances, gender or any other differentiating feature. Abuse is abuse, and it has to stop.
If you experiencing sexual or domestic abuse, or are concerned about someone being mistreated, please get help. In an emergency call 999. In other situations, contact the police on 101, and/or get in touch with organisations specialising in this area. Here are two of the helpline numbers:
National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247
Respect Helpline for men on: 0808 8010 327