*Content warning: This story may contain graphic descriptions and strong language, which could be confronting and disturbing.
Greek Australian Chanel Contos, a former student of private school Kambala, last week launched a petition calling on schools to incorporate “sexual consent education” much earlier in the curriculum.
The petition also calls for a more “holistic” approach to sex ed, suggesting it address topics such as consent, rape culture, slut shaming, toxic masculinity and queer sex education.
The 23-year-old who is currently completing her masters in gender and education at the University College of London, said she has received over 3,000 testimonies of sexual assault from current and former schoolgirls from across Australia.
“Kambala provided me with life-changing education on consent for the first time in year 10. However, it happened too late and came with the tough realisation that amongst my friends, almost half of us had already been raped or sexually assaulted by boys from neighbouring schools,” she posted on Instagram.
“As a collective, we call for sexual consent to be at the forefront of educational issues in your school, from a young age.”
With permission, Contos has shared some of the anonymous testimonies submitted to her, detailing gruelling experiences of sexual assault from as young as the age of 13.
A common theme running through the testimonies is that the girls were raped while unconscious or forced to perform oral sex while they were severely intoxicated.
If you would like to sign the petition, or submit an anonymous testimony, you can do so here.
Where to find support if you have been impacted by rape, sexual assault or domestic violence:
- National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
- Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636