Having healthy relationships, organisations and systems is more than essential to our individual and collective well-being - it is vital.

At LIFESEXPERTS we understand how power and abuse work and take advantage of individual's weaker positions as well as lack of knowledge and recognition of bad and even abusive practices and behaviours. We truly believe in the power of education and that taking preventative measures to address normalised bad behaviour and practices is the best method to move forward to a healthier and happier society. Therefore we utilise Life Relevant Education to disrupt, battle and change negative and unhealthy societal, structural and cultural norms, practices and beliefs that harm our individual and collective well-being.

If you wish to learn more about abuse in society and its very prevalent nature, read below. And if you wish to be part of the change we need to see in the world and address or prevent abuse from happening in your organisation, do get in touch as we specialise in preventative measures and health and well-being promotion. We provide sex and relationships education services and packages delivered for organisations and institutions that raise awareness about abuse, help individuals with their personal development and up-skill them on how to have healthy relationships in all sectors of life. 

Abuse in Society

The abuse of power and people is likely more pervasive than any of us want to realise. It includes child abuse, intimate partner violence, institutional abuse, and beyond. Its existence in every fabric of society from the family, religion, sports,
workplace to whole communities is undeniable. Unfortunately up until recently we have paid scant attention to its manifestations in the film industry, education, health care, business, churches and religious institutions, the criminal justice system and government. But in the past few years more and more research is conducted into the topic, to enrich our understanding of this crippling crime. Addressing the problem may be among the most challenging yet hugely important actions that we need to take. For this reason it is in our best interest to learn about it, manage its impacts, do our best to prevent it and ultimately change how we administer our social institutions, social structures, and how we relate to one another. It is time to address abuse, prevent it, change and grow as individuals, communities, society and nations.

What is abuse?

Verb. To treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

Types of abuse

PHYSICAL  SEXUAL  EMOTIONAL  PSYCHOLOGICAL  ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL  DISCRIMINATORY 
DOMESTIC ABUSE  NEGLECT  EXPLOITATION  ORGANISATIONAL

Who suffers?

Abuse happens all the time all around us. More often than not it is so ingrained in our systems and relationships that is almost invisible, but the truth is that we all are affected by abuse, regardless of whether we are directly abused or experience the rippling far reaching effects of abuse - there is no doubt, we are affected by it at one point in life or another. We shall present you with the sad statistics of how and where abuse happens and will outline how many people suffer as a consequence of its prevalence.  

At The Workplace

A BBC survey found that 40% of women and 18% of men had experienced unwanted sexual behaviour in the workplace ( 11/2017). 
A sample of over 42 000 women across the EU found that 32% of all victims in the EU said the perpetrator was a boss, colleague or customer and 75% of women in qualified professions or top management jobs have been sexually harassed.

EU-wide research by the European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights

At Universities

62% of all students and graduates have experienced sexual violence as per the definition used by Rape Crisis.

70% of female students and recent graduates surveyed have experienced sexual violence.

26% of male students and recent graduates surveyed have experienced sexual violence.

Report by Revolt Sexual Assault and The Student Room (2018)

At Colleges

75% of college students report having experienced sexual violence (harassment, assault, rape) 48% of respondents had experienced unwanted sexual remarks on at least one occasion; 37% had received such comments via media ; 28% felt they had been pressured to establish an unwanted sexual or romantic relationship; 17% said they had been stalked.
 

33% of sexual harassment experienced by further education students took place at their college. While 20% of college-based sexual harassment was experienced during class, the vast majority 87% took place at college but not during class.

NUS research report (June 2019)

At Schools

59% of girls and young women aged 13-21 said in 2014 that they had faced some form of sexual harassment at school or college in the past year.
 

29% of 16-18 year old girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school;

71% of all 16-18 year old boys and girls say they hear terms such as “slut” or “slag” used towards girls at schools on a regular basis 

 

 Report published by Parliament's Women & Equalities Committee, 09/2016

Childhood

An estimated 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused (NSPCC, 2019); 7% of people aged between 16 and 59 reported that they were sexually abused as a child.


Although this survey did not include young children or all forms of sexual abuse, this still equates to over two million victims and survivors in that age bracket across England and Wales ‒ a substantial proportion of the population. (2015-16 Crime Survey for England and Wales)

The Things That Slip Away...

We rarely talk about the further implications...

When abuse is discussed a lot of attention is placed on the victims and the impact abuse has on them. However, abuse has a way broader impact on society as a whole, it will be fair to say that everyone is affected by it - directly or indirectly. Yet a lot is being missed out on in the discourse regarding abuse. Here are a few points.

Vicarious trauma 

Vicarious trauma is the emotional residue of exposure to traumatising stories of other's experiences of hurt, pain, struggle, etc. that have an impact on those interacting
and working with the traumatised individual.


Experienced by professionals:

  • First respondents - e.g. operators at 999, 112, 101, 111

  • Police officers responding to and investigating abuse

  • Physical health care professionals

  • Mental health professionals, e.g. psychotherapists

  • Support workers

  • Social workers

  • Volunteers at support lines, e.g. the Samaritans

  • Church - vicars, priests who support victims

  • Victim support organisations, e.g. women's shelters

  • Lawyers

  • Judges

  • Probation officers and many more.
     

Professionals often pass on traumatising experiences to their friends and families, by sharing and venting. 

 

Vicarious trauma is also experienced by those around victims, professionals and perpetrators:

  • Families, including parents, siblings, partners, relatives, extended families, children

  • Friends, colleagues, good acquaintances, neighbours

  • Communities are affected too, due to proximity, ability 
    to relate, to identify with the victim or perpetrator

 

Perpetrators

Perpetrators that have been caught and investigated suffer consequences, these impact society as a whole too.
 

Tax payers money go to:

  • Policing and investigation costs

  • Criminal prosecution

  • Imprisonment - often longer sentences for sexual offenders, current cost per prisoner per year is £37,543

  • Rehabilitation programs

Their families and communities are impacted too.

  • Their families are often traumatised 

    by the events, often requiring more support from agencies, charities and for physical and mental health
  • Their families may get in dept to 

    support the perpetrator with legal costs
  • Their status and reputation in the 

    community are negatively impacted
  • The community is often shaken and 

    experience higher stress due to the proximity and relationship they may have with the perpetrator or their family.​

 

Furthermore...

Abuse has adverse affect on society, it is feared by men and women of all ages and genders. It
is a crippling and harmful stress and fear to live with. It is even worse when life is impacted by
abuse, but people do not see how or understand it. 


Many who experience abuse never report it for various reasons, from not even recognising it as
abuse to fearing the consequences.


Many who share their lives with victims of abuse never learn about it, or understand the
hurt, the rejection, the isolation, the acting out they are often subjected to by the victim of abuse.


Many who experience abuse are socially, economically and psychologically crippled by it
and cannot build their lives as they wished. 


Many suffer abuse they do not recognise as such, yet it profoundly impacts their quality of
life and opportunities.


Many perpetuate abuse, not recognising their actions as such.

 

Impossible Costs

Estimating the cost of sexual abuse is almost impossible, as not only it is difficult to understand the many interwoven factors that lead to dysfunction in a person, but how that affects them, their work, those around them, including the vicarious trauma experienced by their family, partners, children, friends, even their therapists etc. Additionally a cost that will never figure in these calculation is the trauma experienced by the families and communities around the sex offenders.

A report in the UK for 2016/17 states that domestic abuse is estimated to have cost over £66 billion. This is the most comprehensive estimate of the economic and social costs of domestic abuse. While the £66 billion estimate of the costs of domestic abuse appear large, they are likely to be an under-estimate. 


Any costs in relation to the impact of domestic abuse on children have been excluded. Due to insufficient data, in addition to not being able to include the costs of the impact of domestic abuse on children, the costs of domestic abuse-related suicides, and the costs of financial abuse and the emotional abuse (of controlling and coercive behaviour) to victims has not been 
included either.


The EU estimates that the annual cost of sexual assault – equates to €376bn for 2018, which is 2% of EU GDP. That vast sum is over €100bn more than expenditure on defence across the entire EU bloc, which stood at €226bn at last count.

 

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