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Christian campaigner on IWD: "education over enforcement"

Tue 08 Mar 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Christian campaigner has told Premier that education is key to lifting the status of women all over the world.

Debbie Harvey from Mercy UK, a group that investigates and addresses the root causes of issues women face, was speaking on International Women's Day afeter a new YouGov poll revealed nearly nine in ten women have experienced unwanted sexual looks or remarks in public places.

She was speaking as figures show nearly nine out of ten 18 to 24 year-olds said that they have suffered unwanted sexual attention.

She said: "Very sadly I'm not actually surprised - but there's a danger in the fact I'm not surprised by them - because I think that the danger is that they stop being viewed as shocking, or an injustice even, and start been seen as a societial norm and that I think is what we're having to tackle more than anything."

It includes 45% who have been sexually touched against their wishes.

Debbie Harvey told Premier that: "It is an absolute violation of womanhood that in today's society we are viewed as sexual beings, but I think it's also equally a violation of masculinity that so many men are viewed as predatory."

She continued: "I think as women, as mothers, as wives, we need to be teaching our sons and daughters that sexuality is a part of intimacy and not a part of our identity as people.

"I would advocate education over enforcement any day of the week."

More than half of the young adults asked said that they would welcome more police to deal with the issue.

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speak tp Debbie Harvey here:

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