Category Archives: News

Let’s Teach the Children Well: 5 days to put Sexual Consent into the National Curriculum

Hello!

We have just five days to make sure every young person in Britain is taught to develop positive and equal relationships with their peers. Please join our pop up campaign by asking your MP to vote yes to making relationship education a statutory part of the national curriculum.

The case for this is overwhelming. Research by Women’s Aid shows 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. YouGov found almost a third of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape. Ofsted highlights the continued poor quality of sex education provision in the UK and the Children’s Commissioner has expressed her concerns about children’s increased exposure to sexualised imagery.

With the support of Women’s Aid, Equals, End Violence Against Women, Everyday Sexism, Brook, No More Page 3, the PHSE Association, the Terence Higgins Trust, NSPCC and the Family Planning Association and Brook we are tabling New Clause 20 to the Children and Families Bill. This would make age appropriate sex and relationship education statutory at all stages of the curriculum for both boys and girls. At present the Government plans to teach children about compound interest and composting. We believe its time we also taught them about consent and respect too.

Please use the text below to ask your MP to support NC20 on Tuesday 11 June. You can find their contact details here. Please share this with a friend to ask them to do the same. For more details on the issue and the campaign read our campaign briefing.

One Billion Rising helped us to put tackling violence against women on the British political agenda- Together we can make every school a safer place for all!

 

Stella Creasy
Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow on behalf of OBRUK
Shadow Home Affairs Minister

ps. You can also help the campaign by sharing your support for this on social media using the #Yes2NC20 tag!

________________________________________________________________________________

Draft text to cut and paste into an email to send to your MP

I’m writing to you to ask you as my local MP to vote for New Clause 20 of the Children and Families Bill which will make relationship education a statutory part of the national curriculum on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

At the moment, sex education is compulsory on the National Curriculum, but this focuses primarily on the mechanics and biology of sex as well as good sexual health. We want to put the R into sex education. Whilst families play a key role in mentoring children to overcome these cultural and social pressures, high quality sex and relationship education delivered to both boys and girls is also a vital tool in equipping and empowering young people to cope with the challenges and pressures they face. This should be grounded in a zero tolerance approach to violence against women and girls that is reinforced throughout schools from the curriculum to behaviour policies. Making SRE part of the curriculum would also guarantee standardised materials and resources being made available for teacher training, improving quality.

Recent research by Women’s Aid and Avon found that 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. A YouGov poll in 2010 found that almost a third of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school, and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape.

Ofsted highlights the continued poor quality of sex education provision in the UK the Children’s Commissioner has expressed her concerns about children’s increased exposure to sexualised imagery. It’s time we ensure all our young people have the support to form healthy and respectful relationships with their peers. After all, if children can be made to learn about compound interest and now compost through the new national curriculum, why not consent? Please vote yes to New Clause 20 to the children and families bill.

I look forward to hearing from you and that you have supported NC20 – thank –you for reading my email,

—————————————————————————————————-
Stella Creasy: Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow
Shadow Home Affairs Spokesperson

Unsubscribe / Change Profile
Distributed by Your Mailing List Provider, Ieperstraat 85, B-8970 Poperinge, Belgium Promoted by Steve Terry on behalf of Stella Creasy, both at 23 Orford Road London E17 9N

Consent for Consent Campaign launched to put relationships into the National Curriculum

A coalition of women’s rights, education, child protection, sexual healthcare and young people’s campaign organisations today launched a pop up campaign to give backing to plans to amend the Children and Families Bill to make sex and relationship education a part of the National Curriculum. Following on from the One Billion Rising Campaign and widespread concerns about the sexual harassment and abuse of young people, Labour Shadow ministers Lisa Nandy, Sharon Hodgson and Stella Creasy have tabled a new clause to the bill to ensure relationship education is taught in schools. Shadow Home affairs minister Stella Creasy said: 

“For too long now we’ve had warm words but no action on improving sex and relationship education in our schools, despite repeated calls for all boys and girls get these lessons. When we’re teaching children about compost and compound interest but not consent something has to change. Sexual harassment, violence and abuse affects millions of young people in Britain –that’s why we have to teach them not only about the biology of sex but to respect each other and have healthy relationships. This coalition shows just how many parents, domestic violence and sexual health charities agree as well as young people themselves. Hoping schools will do this isn’t good enough – its time to put consent on the curriculum”

Shadow Education Minister Lisa Nandy said:

“Recent research by the Children’s Commissioner found a shocking number of young people don’t know what a good relationship looks like. This should be a wake up call that we are simply not doing enough to keep children safe. Education is vital to help young people protect themselves from harm. Child abuse is sickening but it is not inevitable and we have a duty to prevent it. Children have a right to expect that from their Government.”

Women’s Aid Ambassador Jahmene Douglas said:

“As the Ambassador for Children and Young People at Women’s Aid I feel passionately that young people should be taught about healthy relationships in school, and that we need to do this if we are ever going to reduce the amount of domestic violence. Following the debate in Parliament in February this Bill presents the Government with a great opportunity to ensure that all children have access to the good quality sex and relationship education they need and are asking for.”
Laura Bates, the Campaigner behind the Everyday Sexism Project said:

“The huge number of stories the Everyday Sexism Project has received from children and teenagers shows beyond doubt that there is an urgent need for far greater information and support to be provided in schools. Many of the young people who contact us are confused and scared about sex they have seen videos shared online or on mobile phones. Others have reported the far end of the playground being called “the rape corner” and young people saying “rape is a compliment really” in classroom discussions. It is time to ensure this most vital of topics is properly covered by the national curriculum”

New Clause 20 of the Children and Families bill will come before parliament on Tuesday 11 June 2013. This campaign has the support of Womens Aid, End Violence Against Women, Brook, Family Planning Association, NSPCC, The PSHE Association, National Union of Students, No More Page3, Everyday Sexism , the EQUALS coalition and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Ends

Notes

  1. This campaign is formally supported by Womens Aid, End Violence Against Women, Brook, Family Planning Association, NSPCC, The PSHE Association, No More Page3, National Union of Students, Everyday Sexism , the EQUALS coalition and the Terrence Higgins Trust. Mumsnet will also be promoting this campaign and willing to give quotes.
  2. Research by Women’s Aid shows 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. YouGov found almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school[1], and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape[2].
  3. Polls consistently show overwhelming support amongst parents, the public and students for compulsory SRE at secondary level in particular. NAHT poll of parents http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/parents-and-pupils/parents-want-schools-to-manage-dangers-of-pornography-says-survey/ and EVAW poll  http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/news/98/womens-groups-urge-pm-to-take-urgent-action-to-prevent-abuse
  4. The Deputy Children’s Commissioner’s recent report on children’s access to porn found that it is widely available and that there is a clear correlation with harmful attitudes and behaviours. There are clear gender differences, with girls feeling much more uncomfortable when they are exposed to porn, and boys more willingly seeking it out. The report recommended that “The Department for Education should ensure that all schools understand the importance of, and deliver, effective relationship and sex education which must include safe use of the internet. A strong and unambiguous message to this effect should be sent to all education providers including: all state funded schools including academies; maintained schools; independent schools; faith schools; and further education colleges.” http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_667
  5. EVAWs report Deeds or Words? developed with experts on violence against women found that education policy was a weak link in government work on preventing abuse and called for compulsory SRE, amongst other measures. http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/data/files/Deeds_or_Words_Report.pdf
  6. Ofsted recently found that PSHE is not good enough in a substantial proportion of schools and that this is leaving young people vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education-schools
  7. The Government recently announced plans to put gardening on national curriculum http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/school_meals/article1251936.ece and to put personal financial education on curriculum http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9855051/Personal-finance-education-to-be-compulsory.html
  8. New Clause 20 will be debated on Tuesday 11 June 2013 as part of the Children and Families Bill in the House of Commons. The Report stage of the Children and Families Bill will be on Tuesday 11 June 2013. This bill covers a mixture of legal issues around children and young people including adoption, care and education. Labour has tabled amendments to this Bill which would ensure that all schools provide sex and relationship education for all students. If the amendment is passed it will go to The House of Lords to be debated as part of the wider Bill including passage through Committee.
  9. The One Billion Rising Campaign brought the following motion to parliament which secured cross party support for the issue:

“That this House notes the One Billion Rising Campaign, and the call to end violence against women and girls; and calls on the Government to support this by introducing statutory provisions to make personal, social and health education, including a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse in relationships, a requirement in schools.” http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130214/debtext/130214-0002.htm#13021465000001

Full text of the proposed New Clause 20 can be read here

Take Sex & Relationship Education Forward Not Back

As Chief Executive of a charity committed to the idea that education is about preparation for life, not just preparation for exams, I was delighted when OBR-UK chose guaranteeing sex and relationships education (SRE) for every school pupil as its main campaign priority.  Yet even as this proposal was being debated in the House of Commons on the 14th of February, the Department for Education was consulting on changes to the national curriculum which, if not challenged, could move SRE backwards for pupils across the country.

High‐quality teaching should be a first line of defence against abuse of children and young people. Even if a pupil is experiencing aggressive or unbalanced relationships outside school, inside they should receive a clear message: ‘it doesn’t have to be like this’. In particular, lessons can be used to provide support for pupils experiencing abuse, helping them to believe that what they are experiencing is unacceptable and that it is not their fault; to believe they have a right for it to stop and that it can stop; and to find a strategy and the confidence to initiate the action needed to make it stop.

For this to happen, children must first have a basic understanding of human biology and the language to describe what is happening; it is only right that this information should be taught in science lessons. But the new science curriculum which the Government is proposing omits any reference to genitalia and sexual health. Without this basic teaching, lessons on how children can respond to sexual abuse and violence will be severely undermined.

These changes risk making a situation which is already completely unsatisfactory even worse: a 2011 Brook survey showed that 26% of secondary school pupils reported receiving no sex and relationships education at all, while just 6% said they got the information they needed in SRE. And we know that even since 2011, many schools have reduced their provision in the face of tight budgets and competing priorities. We need to move forwards from this position, not go backwards.

That’s why we are working with partners across the youth, education and health sectors to campaign for SRE fit for the 21st century and encouraging supporters of OBR-UK to sign up too. Teachers need clear, unambiguous advice on SRE from Government; we fail those teachers and, more importantly their pupils, if this is not provided.

 

Joe Hayman

Chief Executive, PSHE Association

http://www.pshe-association.org.uk/

One Billion Rising 14 Feb 2013 – Reflections

On 14th February the 28 Too Many team took to the streets of London to participate in a number of One Billion Rising in the UK (OBRUK) events taking place across the capital. Rather than provide an account of the day which has already been well documented in many blogs, on FaceBook/Twitter and in some brilliant YouTube videos we thought we would mull over our day and capture our top 10 reflections on what happened and what we want to remember.

  1. Too many people are ignorant or silent about the scale and impact of sexual violence against women and girls – sexual violence against women and girls has become normalised but it is not acceptable and we should all be loudly demanding that action is taken to end it. One Billion Rising (OBR) highlighted that this is happening every day in every country and, if not you, a women or girl you know will have been beaten, assaulted or raped
  2. OBR is a truly global movement – thousands of events across 200+ countries and millions taking part to show they care and to say no to sexual violence against women & girls
  3. People took part – yes that means lots of women, girls, men and boys raising their voices and dancing together for a common cause
  4. It is a happy and hopeful campaign – there was a great atmosphere at pre-event workshops, flashmobs, rallies and many other events proving that you don’t have to be glum to make some very serious points
  5. Politicians from different parties can dance to a single tune – maybe they don’t all have moves like Jagger but many politicians from different political backgrounds shared a platform and worked together to support OBR. Now they need to stay engaged on this issue and push for action from the Government Ministers who were noticeably quiet on the day
  6. Hearing a new voice – for millions of women this was the first time they have taken part in public events and spoken out about the sexual violence which blights so many lives. We should all listen to what they have to say
  7. Social media was used to empower people – all sorts of social media were used, bringing people together to plan, support each other globally and keep sharing news after events have taken place. New technology enabled more people to learn about the movement and get involved
  8. Mainstream TV news where were you? – with the notable exception of Channel 4 the main UK broadcasters did not treat OBR as major news which was poor service to their viewers and subscribers, many of whom took part in or supported events
  9. Together we are stronger – OBR brought together many diverse groups who focus on specific aspects of violence against women eg. domestic violence, rape or female genital mutilation. Specialisation is necessary for expert work but campaigning together strengthens our voice
  10. There is still time to join the campaign and help with the challenges ahead – the OBR train has left the station but there are many more stops on this journey so, if you are not already on board, jump up and join in to make the world a better place.

These are our take-aways from the day. What are yours?

Blog by Louise Robertson Operations Coordinator, 28 Too Many –a charity working to end female genital mutilation

Visualising One Billion Rising

Great visual put together by the Southbank Centre who hosted a number of One Billion Rising Events and will host the WoW: Women of the World Festival from 6th – 10th March

Southbank Centre

One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising.

Today ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end violence against women and girls.

#WOW2013
www.southbankcentre.co.uk/wow

View original post

Great to hear and see the success of events around the country for One Billion Rising

Mary Griffiths Clarke

The One Billion Rising events in Lambeth on February 14th were a great success! The Ritzy Cinema event sold out, with people packed out of the room and down the stairs! Further screenings are being arranged to meet demand! People came from all over the borough and reflected the true diversity of the residents and workers within Lambeth. Many thanks to Sarah Rabbitts who helped introduce with a summary of the day’s debate in Parliament about making relationship education a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

The flash mob led by Wippersnappers After School Club was really well attended. Ebony Clarke did a fantastic job at organising this.  Whilst it was great fun, it carried a serious message. A wonderful banner was created in the One Billion Rising design, using hand prints from children with special needs. This was a real achievement as some of the participants wouldn’t have even…

View original post 742 more words

One Billion Rising Documentary- Call for Submissions

V-Day is creating a ONE BILLION RISING documentary project, and we are looking to include footage and high resolution photos of local events from all over the world.

If you filmed or photographed your event, we would love to see!

We will need the highest resolution files available shared with us via Dropbox. These can be RAW footage, edited pieces, single photographs or folders with multiple images.

Simply follow the instructions at our “Share Your One Billion Rising Media” page and add the Dropbox link of your material in the provided field.

If your event imagery is chosen for the final ONE BILLION RISING documentary, you will be notified and credited, so make sure to include your full name as you wish to be credited and your contact details!

ONE BILLION RISING was the largest global action in history to end violence against women and girls, and, with your help, the world will see inside the ONE BILLION RISING activities that took place all over the planet!

If you do not have access to Dropbox, please email film@vday.org

‘This is Abuse’ Campaign Relaunched

The Home Office relaunched its ‘This is Abuse’ Campaign on V-Day 2013. The teenage relationship abuse campaign is running from 14 February until the end of April 2013. The aim of the campaign is to prevent teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of abusive relationships.

For more information please visit the ‘This is Abuse’ site or the Home Office website.

 

Pictures from Events Around the UK

16921_330721703706052_292171317_n Birmingham Montage Bristol2 Bristol1 59694_328855897225966_1521509701_n 526761_328855957225960_1105605121_n 563176_328856043892618_327330009_n IMG_3838 Maslahaobr-035e IMG_3940 IMG_3904 IMG_3900 Maslahaobr-047e Maslahaobr-080e OBRUK 2013 Maslahaobr-224e

Amber Rudd MP: Children Should be Taught about Relationship Violence and Sexual Consent in Schools

Amber Rudd, Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, tells Mumsnet why she’s supporting the One Billion Rising campaign.

In the UK, the campaign’s efforts are being focused on young people, relationships and violence. A cross-party group led by Stella and Amber is asking for parliamentary time on 14 February to vote on making “personal, social and health education a requirement in schools, including a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse in relationships”.

What do you think – should it be compulsory for children to learn about relationship violence and sexual consent in schools?

The variety of questions and requests that MPs receive at their weekly surgeries to help constituents has no boundaries. From assistance with genuine problems such as benefits or pensions, to the slightly bizarre request to contact Argos who haven’t delivered the TV, the weekly surgery is full of surprises.

But one of the recurring themes at my surgeries as an MP are stories about abuse against women and girls. It has become a distressingly common theme in my surgeries, and I know other Members of Parliament have the same experience.

This violence affects many women; young and old; gay and straight; of all religions, wealth and ethnicities. Thankfully there are organisations out there, which are determined to see an end to this abuse. One Billion Rising in Britain and its campaign to end violence against women and girls in Britain and across the world is an example of the work being done to eradicate this violence from our communities and homes.

To read the rest of the article see :http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers/guest-blogs/one-billion-rising