Thousands Sign Petition To Have Consent Included In Sex Education Across Australia
Chanel Contos, a former student of Sydney's Kambala Girls' School, created the campaign last week and has since seen more than 16,000 people from 50 different schools sign it.
The petition has also seen 2,500 women share their experiences of being sexually assaulted.
"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," she said.
"And then there need to be conversations towards boys that talk about toxic masculinity."
Speaking to Sunrise, Chanel said the number of instances of sexual assault within her immediate friendship group was shocking.
She said the problem was 'so large' that there was always 'at least one or two girls who have experienced sexual assault'.
"A close friend came to me a few days ago and was quite distressed about something that had happened to them eight or nine years ago now," she said.
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"The trauma is still there because we didn't have the opportunity to process it at the time.
"Australia has one of the best education systems in the world, and the funding or the effort is not being put into making sure that students know about consent in a holistic way."
She added that despite receiving sex education in Year 10, it was already too late for many girls.
"There were too many girls in the year who were already either sexually active or had experienced sexual abuse because they weren't ready to be sexually active but didn't know how to say no because they hadn't had a consent talk," she said.
Since she launched the petition, Chanel has received a tidal wave of support, and now hopes to take the issue nationally.
"I also thought I would only have the reach to approach private schools except now with the traction I have gotten, I am definitely going to work on this on a national level," she said.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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