Up to 212,000 people have been ‘beaten up for being on benefits’ as a direct result of the despicable ‘scrounger’ rhetoric in the media and ‘poverty porn’ TV programmes, a shocking new survey reveals today.
A survey by YouGov reveals the devastating impact of newspaper benefits propaganda, and ‘poverty porn’ programmes like Channel 4’s Benefits Street, on some of Britain’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
The YouGov survey shows that up to 212,000 people have been attacked for being on benefits, while 11% had even been shunned by their own families.
YouGov asked 2,352 benefit claimants: “Have you ever been verbally or physically abused because you are on benefits? 15% said they had experienced verbal abuse and 4% admitted they had been physically assaulted.
If the survey had asked every single benefit claimant in the UK it would suggest that nearly 212,000 have been physically assaulted.
6% of respondents said their children had been victims of bullies, while 16% said they had been turned down for a home for being in receipt of benefits.
Campaigners and charities are now calling on the media and the government to end their use of socially divisive language, which is turning British society against itself.
Philipp Newis from the Who Benefits? campaign told the Daily Mirror:
“We’ve heard a lot of negative talk from politicians about benefit claimants, even though these are people who might need support for all sorts of reasons.
“Around 4.3million families receiving benefits are in work, but earning too little to get by.
“Many others are ill, caring for a loved one or have lost their job. It could happen to any one of us.”
The survey was carried out by YouGov on behalf of a number of charities including Gingerbread, MIND and the Children’s Society.
Its findings will be sent to a report which is investigating whether benefit claimants are being treated like second-class citizens.