SCHOOLS across Thurrock are being encouraged to take a firmer stance on tackling the abuse of women and girls.

A new survery of all secondary schools in Thurrock has been carried out by the End Violence Against Women Coalition and shows tackling abuse of women and girls is currently given a low priority.

This is despite statistics that show almost half of them dealt with incidents related to sexual violence, sexual harassment, pornography and partner violence over the last year.

The figures have come after 12 secondary schools in Thurrock responded to a questionnaire sent out by EVAW earlier in the year.

Cllr Tony Fish, Thurrock mayor, South Essex Rape Crisis, experts and young people met at Orsett Hall on Wednesday, July 3, to discuss the results and the possibility of joining the Schools Safe 4 Girls campaign – where schools work with parents and students to ensure girls’ safety.