Petition For Consent To Be Included In Australian School’s Sex Education Earlier

Oct 4, 2021 6:11 PM

This petition and its accompanying testimonies will be presented to MPs around the country to advocate for holistic sexuality education earlier in the school curriculum.

As a collective, we call for sexual consent to be at the forefront of educational issues in your school, from a young age.

The majority of signatories to this petition will have long since graduated from school. Most are now at university or in their early years of the workforce with their high school days only a distant memory. Yet, they are advocating for younger generations to receive an education that they were either deprived of or received far too late. This highlights the long lasting impacts that sexual assault at a young age leaves not just on the victim, but their friends and the wider community.Those who have signed this petition have done so because they are sad and angry that they did not receive an adequate education regarding what amounts to sexual assault and what to do when it happens. These are uncomfortable conversations to have with young teenagers but it is far more uncomfortable to live knowing that something happened to you, or a friend, or perhaps that you were even the perpetrator of it, and it could have been avoided.

The following testimonies were sent to me by those who passionately believe that inadequate consent education is reason for their sexual abuse during or soon after school. Please note dates are the graduating years. Victims and perpetrators will remain anonymous.

I went to Kincoppal and he went to Cranbrook. We were in year 9. He was the first proper boy I had ever had a “thing” with, so I didn’t know any different. He invited me over after school one day to watch a movie at his house. When I asked for the address he told me to meet him at a park and then we would walk to his house together. When I met him there, he started leading me further and further away and into the bushes. We sat inside a cave. He started to kiss me and suddenly brought out his erect penis, which he then forcibly moved my hand to. I was so uncomfortable, thinking that I’d come here to watch a movie and because this boy really liked me. When he started pushing my head down to give him oral I suddenly stood up and said I needed to leave. We walked together in silence back to the main stretch of the park. I went home and cried all night long. I told my mum it was because I had a fight with a friend at school. The next day - I’ll never forget it- sitting in maths class I opened my phone to see a bunch of harassing messages from Cranbrook boys. He’d told everyone at school - but not the truth - he bragged that we’d done it in a cave. It took me years to fully come to terms with it and because of it I’ve allowed other men to take advantage of me in similar ways.

I was 16 at a party and was kissing a Knox boy in the year above me. He asked me to give him oral sex and I said no. He then proceeded to yell at me and said “then why the fuck are you getting with me then” and pushed me down. After that experience I didn’t kiss anyone for a while, stupidly under the believe that if I was to hook up with a boy, if I didn’t want to go further with then ‘why was I getting with them’. Schools need to teach their students that if a girl says no the first time they must respect that decision. Proceeding to ask another 30 times and receiving a unwilling yes due to peer pressure is NOT valid consent. That is a young woman too unsure of herself that was finally coerced into giving the answer they know you want to hear.

I was hosting and i had around 30 people in my house. I don’t really remember how but i ended up with a room with a Joeys boy, who i had gotton with earlier in the night i said i would go further with him back then but in the state i was in there was no way i could’ve consented properly once we were in that room. I don’t really remember how but he had sex with me and stopped only when my friend walked in the room to check on me, because she thought i had been put to bed. Maybe i had been put to bed, maybe i did say i would go with him earlier before but it was not consent

I had just started year 9 he was my boyfriend from SCOTS and I went to his house for the first time - the first time I had ever been alone at any boys house. I didn’t know his parents weren’t going to be home. He took me on a “tour” and then took me to his room where he lay on the bed and told me to perform oral sex (said while taking off his pants). I said that I was unsure and thought I would lose my “boyfriend” who was older than me if I said no; but I did not want to do it. I said I “didn’t know how” and “wasn’t sure”. He told me that everyone else did it and it was easy. He pushed my head down and forced me to do it until he came.

I was in year 10 when a Sydney Grammar boy raped me. He was my “friend” which gave me a false sense of security and still makes me question my understanding of the event. I was drunk when he told me he needed something from my room, I went with him to get it. Before I could register he had pushed me onto the bed and pulled my pants down. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t believe what was happening. He started having sex with me. The whole thing felt like it lasted forever and 2 minutes at the same time... he came, pulled out and left saying “see you upstairs”. I didn’t say a word. I went back upstairs and was silent. He has never apologised or acknowledged it.

I had just turned 18 and my boyfriend was bringing me home to bed from my party. I was drunk and fell asleep half way getting changed - basically naked. I was in bed half under the covers. I saw a flash and opened my eyes to see that my boyfriend had just taken a picture of me, naked, when he thought I was asleep. The next day he denied it but hid his phone. A few months after I found the image in his phone, confirming he took it, and i deleted it immediately. I have no way of knowing if he sent it to other people or if that was the only copy.

This campaign was started by former Kambala student Chanel Contos because she "was sick of constantly hearing my friends' experience of sexual abuse", and is now calling for a bigger focus on consent in sexual education in schools."I have lived in three different countries and I have never spoken to anyone who has experienced rape culture the way me and my friends had growing up in Sydney amongst private schools."There needs to be conversations targeted towards girls that talk about issues that affect them more adversely like slut-shaming, sexual coercion, consent, peer pressure and then there need to be conversations towards boys that talk about toxic masculinity.