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Sexual consent is essential education

At Modibodi, our brand ethos is to create limitless positive impact and to do this we must push for change. Change to get silenced voices heard, change to the unjust, change to lessen tour impact on people and planet. Change starts with action, more open, honest conversations and education.

  • 1 in 5 women in Australia have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives 
  • 51% of Australian university students were sexually assaulted at least once in 2016 
  • More that 1 in 4 of Australian adults who experienced sexual assault in the past 12 months were male 
  • People ages 19 years and younger account for 60% of all victims of sexual assault 

 (*source www.consentlabs.com) 

These statistics are frightening. Helping to reduce rates of sexual assault and harassment require change. This change must be targeted at arguably our most vulnerable yet impressionable age group, young people. 

There has been news coverage in Australia on sexual consent and the lack of it among school aged children and even in our highest institution the Parliament of AustraliaIt is clear that a culture of dominance in which sexual consent is ignored is systemic. We need more sexual consent education in our schools and institutions for both boys and girls, men and women. It needs to be included in the school curriculum and in all education offerings and discussed at home. It has to be shared and taught to all people regardless of gender, sexuality or socioeconomic status. Open conversations and education on sexual consent will helpcreate respect and healthy relations between all people. So, let's push for change and make sexual education modern.  

The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for what all young Australians should be taught, regardless of where they live — but decisions on how this is implemented, including teaching kids about consent, are made at a state level. 

Kath Ebbs is a proud queer feminist who has recently left high school, she is also currently campaigning for queer topics to also be included in the sexual education curriculum 

“There is no point teaching teens about sexual health without the subject of consent. It must be at the forefront of the discussion and without fear or awkwardness from leaders, because healthy sex starts with consent. I know personally if this information was openly available to myself and other peers during school I wouldn’t have had to re-learn healthy intimacy later in life. I left school not knowing how to assert my boundaries as a woman, having no understanding of what consent was, scared of exploring other sexualities, shameful about my body and deeply traumatised from my first brush with intimacy at a high school party. This needs to end here. I find it concerning that I am more shocked when a woman hasn’t endured a form of sexual assault in their life. If that isn’t saying something about how much needs to change, I don’t know what is. We need men, women and gender queer folk to all be a part of the conversation. We need to stop victim blaming and sending women into fear instead of power. This is a systemic issue that needs to end. Too many people are hurting. Kids are going to explore sex whether you like it or not, it is time to give them all the necessary tools they need to do so safety. No more sweeping under the rug and sugar-coating things. It's time to step up.  

Be a part of the movement and let’s change the culture around sexual consent. 

How can you help? 

We have drafted a letter that you can download here and send to our politicians and the head of our institutions to call for the inclusion of consent education in schools. Once you’ve downloaded and signed, please send to:  

The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Education and Youth, alan.tudge.mp@aph.gov.au 

The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, scott.morrison.mp@aph.gov.au 

Or your local state and territory Education Minister. 

More resources: 

https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/what-consent  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoWLWS4-kU 

If you are in a situation that is unsafe, please call 000 

If you need support around healthy relationships and consent you can reach out for confidential help at: 

  • 1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732         
  • Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114   

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