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A study conducted by University of Auckland’s Adolescent Health Research Group has found 15% of high school students experience unwanted sexual contact.
The report broke down data from Youth’12, a national survey of 8500 high school students. The group found it was most commonly a partner who forced the unwanted experience onto the student, with lead researcher Dr Terryann Clark describing the findings as “highly unacceptable.”
Students were also eight times more likely to report unwanted sexual contact forced upon them by someone they knew, as opposed to a stranger.
“The popular portrayal of the ‘stranger rapist’ is challenged by these findings, suggesting that unwanted sexual contact is more likely to come from someone known and trusted to the person, like a friend, family member, or partner,” says Clark.
Despite this, 75 per cent of males and just over 50 per cent of females had told anyone about it.
Clark adds that “it is unacceptable that young people still fear judgements and blame—to be seen as ‘asking for it’ and a whole host of unwanted assumptions that pervade the current ‘rape culture. It is no wonder they don’t tell and get the support they need.”