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Every fifth Swedish girl suffers sex harassment

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Every fifth Swedish girl suffers sex harassment
School lockers. Photo: Shutterstock
08:26 CEST+02:00
Every fifth girl attending Swedish high school has reported being subjected to sexual harassment, according to a new report from an anti-bullying charity.
Some 12,766 children took part in the report compiled by Friends.
 
"This is a major societal problem that is not given the priority that it should. There is instead an acceptance, but we can't accept that sexual harassment is part of a child's everyday life," said Friends General Secretary Lars Arrhenius. 
 
Sexual harassment in a school environment was the focus of the survey for the first time, and results indicated that 20 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys reported being victims.
 
"One time a guy walked up to me and took my breasts like I was a freaking doll," one girl said.
 
"We wanted to see the types of bullying that go on and therefore posed the question on sexual harassment," Lars Arrhenius explained.
 
"There is a big problem and girls are most vulnerable. What we hear is that it is seen as a normal state of affairs, and that the harassment is often joked away as 'not so serious'," he added.
 
The report also noted that some 8 percent of school children reported that adults were responsible for the violations at school. Some 20 percent of insults concern ethnicity and 13 percent sexual orientation. 
 
The 2014 survey is the third annual survey conducted by Friends, and the organization was unable to detect any improvement.
 
"The figures look the same. There are 50,000 to 60,000 children who are victims of bullying, and it's frustrating," said Lars Arrhenius. 
 
"Today we talk about political results and grades in school, but not security and safety. I think that is where we must start. What we have seen in the study would never be tolerated in adult environments," he said.
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