Subject: Friend, did you see the serious issue of assault in our schools in the headlines?

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Hi Friend,

This past week has given way to headlines about sexual assault. From our parliamentarians to our schools, it is clear that we have a lot of work to do.

There's no need to digress down a political hole–there's ample to focus on with the thousands of stories from young women that have emerged. In the words of Dr Michael Salter: "Stories of boys raping girls, boys forcing girls to perform oral sex, boys anally raping girls, boys assaulting their girlfriends, boys assaulting girls who are unconscious, sharing the stories and the images and the videos with their friends. In one case, uploading illicitly taken videos to a widely available p0rn website. Some girls are as young as 13. The boys are their peers."

It's clear that our young men are "clearly ignorant of what constitutes a crime, and what constitutes consent"–and our young women are paying the price. This issue of abuse is not simple, but a driving force behind this travesty is, most certainly, easy and regular access to hardcore p0rn. 

23-year-old Chanel Contos, wanted to send a clear message to private schools principals to start education about consent earlier. A former Sydney schoolgirl, Chanel began a petition to gather the voices of those who have experienced abuse at school. While none are a shock for those with a close insight into young people's world, the stories are quite shocking–one of which we share below. 

Chanel is among good company with experts in agreeing that we need to place an urgent priority on educating children and young people about consent and healthy relationships from a much younger age. Prevention education is a crucial element for curbing the regularity of these stories. Even when Age Verification is eventually implemented (of which I am a dedicated advocate), education is still the underpinning factor that will combat this trend.

I'm encouraged by the stream of steady inquiries this past week asking how we can support schools, but it's saddening that it takes media focus to bring this to the forefront of people's minds. Yes, we can absolutely support schools and can do so in numerous ways. 
  1. For schools within driving distance of Brisbane, our Secondary School teacher, Megan Howell, is available to deliver presentations.
  2. OR, email us if you would like a LIVE Webinar and Virtual Q & A.
  3. We provide on-location and online professional development and parent workshops.
  4. Plus, next week, we are launching our pre-recorded student sessions. 
  5. And to reinforce prevention education messages, we have the IQ PROGRAMS–curriculum to equip educators to support kids and teens to author their future. There's some exciting news on its way about how to access IQ PROGRAMS in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more information.
The good news is that options 2, 3, 4 and 5 are available anywhere in the world! If we had experienced a more seamless run with tech, our new student courses would have been accessible this week, so for now, please email with inquiries.

Youth Wellbeing Project exists to  promote safe & healthy relationships free from tech and sexualised harms. And we are putting all that we have into making sure that we support you with the resources you need to help keep children and young people safe in their communities. So on that note, read on below, and stay tuned for more!

Till next time, be well and stay inspired.
A young woman's story ...

I am keeping my school blank - as I still go to private school in Sydney.

Whilst being at school I have already had quite a serious relationship. Whilst being together - we chose to have sex very young. Being so young I wasn’t educated at all at that point about consent.

One thing that I found with my boyfriend and I while we were young was that boys are exposed to p0rn much earlier than they even have their first kiss. From this my boyfriend often had preconceived ideas of what sex should look like, sound like and feel like. This led to many encounters where he would push my head down intensely during oral sex - where I would gag, and then say to stop, yet he continued because it was “funny” and we were in love so I continued.

Also, he would put me in uncomfortable positions that he had seen from p0rn websites - and when I would ask him to stop whilst I was heavily breathing, he believed I was being “sexy and playful” and he would keep going and I didn’t know how to stop it. I didn’t know how to stop it because 1. I was in such restricting positions when this would occur that I physically couldn’t stop it. And 2. He guilt tripped me for stopping.

Many times when I was too sore to continue as I hadn’t been that into it in the first place, or whatever we were doing began to hurt me - he would make me feel guilty - saying I was giving him “blue balls” and should continue because I was putting his blue balls in so much pain. Often, after, our compromise would be that I just sat in doggy and in pain, whilst he continued until he came.

Another time now which hurts me the most looking back on, was when my boyfriend accidentally “put it in” the wrong hole. At the time, we were completely sober, in doggy, with the lights on - when he “accidentally” put it in the wrong one. Although in a lot of pain and unable to sit down and go to the toilet comfortably for days - I believed it was merely an accident and it just happens. Unfortunately, since then and through conversing with my friends, I have realised that it was not an accident. We were sober. Lights on. I was in full view. (Not to mention he had always wanted to do that stuff but I always said no. I didn’t consider this at the time). This whole situation makes me feel so violated as he was someone I cared for deeply.

These moments of mine don’t resemble drunk nights out etc - I hope these relate to girls and guys that have been in a loving relationship, and not realised things that were wrong in their previous and current relationships.

- Anonymous (I still go to school) 2021

Related news articles:
Friday 19 March is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA).
Run by Bullying. No Way! NDA brings Australian school communities together to make a stand against bullying and violence.
eSafety will support this important event with a Virtual Classroom titled Be an eSafe kid: Being an upstander, held between 12 to 22 March. Suitable for students in years 3-6, this webinar explores how young people can support their friends online. Register your class today.
You can also download the NDA fact sheets for primary and secondary students, which provide tips for children who experience bullying. For more information on how you can get involved with the NDA, visit Bullying. No Way!.

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Youth Wellbeing Project, PO Box 1055, North Lakes, QLD, 4509, Australia
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