Healthy lives for young people

Our challenge

We know that the challenges young people face today are numerous, complex and fast-moving. 

In 2019 there were 73,260 child sexual abuse cases reported in England and Wales (ONS 2019)

Two in three girls aged 14-21 have been sexually harassed in public (Plan UK 2018)

37% of female students at mixed-sex schools have personally experienced some form of sexual harassment at school (UK Feminista 2017)

91% of 16-24 year olds use online social networking (Be Real Campaign 2019)

70% of 15-16 year olds have seen porn (Children’s Commissioner, NSPCC and Middlesex University 2017)

Young people continue to experience the highest diagnosis rates of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhoea and genital warts (Public Health England 2018)

41% of girls aged 17-21 are not happy with the way they look, and a third would consider plastic surgery (Girlguiding 2018)

The number of children and young people experiencing emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression increased by 48% between 2004-2017 (NHS Digital prevalence data)

The UK continues to have the highest teenage birth rates in Western Europe (Public Health England 2018)

In 2017, suicide was the most common cause of death for both boys (16.2% of all deaths) and girls (13.3%) aged between five and 19 years (University of Manchester 2017)

70% of LGBT people aged 18- 24 have felt life was not worth living in the last year (Stonewall 2018)

Meanwhile…

  • Relationships and Sex Education is still not mandatory in schools in England (this is changing from September 2020 with the introduction of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education).
  • The Department for Education guidance states that parents will have the right to withdraw their children from RSE, denying them vital information and advice.
  • Fewer than one in three children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition get access to NHS care and treatment in England (National Audit Office 2018).
  • 27% of secondary school teachers in England and Wales say they would not feel confident tackling a sexist incident if they experienced or witnessed it in school (UK Feminista 2017).
  • Fewer than 6 in 10 young people learnt all they needed to at school about healthy relationships, abusive relationships, grooming and how to get help if you were sexually abused or assaulted (Sex Education Forum 2019).

References

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