Young people today are subjected to pressures in schools that many of us could barely imagine. From sexting to widespread access to porn – the school environment has changed. But education has not changed with it.
As a result of this disparity between the real world and the ways in which we are failing to equip our children and young people, Laura Bates (founder of the Everyday Sexism Project) and Sarah Green and Rachel Krys (Co-Directors of the End Violence Against Women Coalition) have launched a petition on Change.org asking for sex and relationships education (SRE) to be made compulsory in all schools.
Equation have long since championed age-appropriate sex and relationships education for children and young people. Our award-winning educational programmes have already made a huge impact on thousands of children and young people across Nottinghamshire. But we know that this is a basic right that ALL children should be entitled to, and that the alarming statistics around teenage sexual abuse and rape will not change without it.
Young people are bombarded with confusing and often misogynistic messages from the world around them. Shockingly, 60% have seen online porn by the age of 14. Teenage girls are getting pressured into having sex, and a recent BBC Freedom of Information request revealed that 5,500 sexual offences, including 600 rapes, were reported to police as having taken place in schools over a 3-year period. That’s almost exactly one rape per school day.
Sex and relationships education is as important as any other subject, as this video shows:
It is vital that our schools equip young people with the skills they need to understand consent, healthy relationships, LGBT rights and relationships, gender stereotypes and online pornography.
You can sign the petition here.
Or join the conversation online using the hashtag #SREnow.