Abuse expert horrified but unsurprised by new survey

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Abuse expert horrified but unsurprised by new survey

16th May 2011

A specialist in cases involving abuse has admitted to being horrified but unsurprised by a recent survey which revealed that more than one-in-three young people have suffered a severe physical or sexual attack at the hands of their peers.

Mark Hatzer, a partner at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said: "These results are truly shocking and starkly illustrate the scale in which physical and sexual abuse continues to blight the lives of so many young people each and every day."

The survey of 1001 young adults conducted by the charity Beatbullying, found that a weapon was used in 28% of serious 'child on child' assaults and that one in three victims would suffer adverse implications to their mental health as well as behavioural problems involving trouble with the police in later life.

"Severe child on child assaults are a serious and growing epidemic that needs to be aggressively confronted head-on," said Mark, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP. "It is important that society recognises that the often horrific effects of abuse are truly widespread, that the problem frequently exceeds occasional victimisation and that such abuse rarely occurs solely within the confines of school premises alone.

A staggering 52% of those surveyed admitted to having sustained physical injuries as a result of an attack, with a quarter also shockingly admitting to being sexually assaulted by someone they knew.

"Physical and sexual abuse inflicted upon children and young adults as well as the resulting effects upon their mental well-being continue to be a huge problem," said Mark. "Almost a fifth of those who have experienced violence have suffered some kind of eating disorder as a result, with 17% of victims being prescribed anti-depressants following an attack. This report highlights the absolute need for teachers and parents to be vigilant for signs of abuse and to keep a watchful eye on any children they deem potential victims of violence and victimisation.

"Robust and integrated peer-focused anti-violence measures need to be adopted and rolled out nationwide by children and their families, teachers, police, local authorities and the government," added Mark. "It is vital that we emphasise that abuse and severe child-on-child violence can and will no longer be tolerated. I would hope that as a result of these figures, a more cohesive and determined approach to abuse will make a significant difference to a problem which is far more widespread than many people imagine."

How can Fentons help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in helping victims of abuse.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Read more on this story at Sky News