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.


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


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...

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.


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.


I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy.


I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy.