Sexual harassment and sexual abuse have been in the news a lot recently. These are not comfortable conversations, but we need to have them. Your body belongs to you and you have the right to say no to being groped, being sent explicit photos, being harassed, coerced into sending pictures, doing sexual favours or having intercourse. Boys and girls can be the victim of sexual harassment and abuse.
Here are some things to remember about sexual harassment and assault:
If you have been sexually assaulted find out more at https://au.reachout.com/articles/sexual-assault-support.
Here's a funny advertisement about porn from New Zealand.
When I was a kid, if you wanted to view porn you had to send someone's big brother to the local newsagent and buy a dirty magazine (it was a long time ago). Now, it's hard to avoid porn - it's available on your phone, computer or television. It's not just boys who view porn, many girls do as well. One of the main problems with porn is that it encourages some very unhealthy attitudes and behaviours about sex:
Never, never, never take pictures of yourself naked and share them, even if everyone else is doing it. Having an explicit picture on your phone of someone under the age of 18 is considered child pornography and can result in a jail term or being placed on the sex offender register. One 14 year old boy downloaded a video of a girl his age having sex and shared it with students at his school. He was charged with child pornography offences. For more information checkout the Lawstuff Australia website.
According to a recent study, 10% of women have been forced into some form of sexual activity aged 16 or younger.* It is against the law to have sex with someone without their consent (permission). According to the Respect and Consent fact sheet from the Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) you can not give consent if you are:
drunk or under the influence of drugs;
unconscious or asleep;
feel pressured or threatened; or
are under the age of 16 (in WA).
You can find the full fact sheet here.
It's your body and you don't have to have sex if you don't want to. If you have been forced to have sex you can contact SARC on 1800 999 888. Check out their webpage for young people here.
* de Vusser RO, Smith AMA, Rissel CE, Richters J, Grulich AE (2003) Experiences of sexual coercion among a representative sample of Adults. Aust NZ Health.
The lyrics say it all. Go easy on the cherry wine though.
One of the biggest lies that guys use to get what they want is "if you loved me, you'd do it." Don't be pressured into doing anything that you're not comfortable with or ready for. It's ok to say no. Watch this hilarious but helpful clip on consent and show it to your boyfriends.