Women’s Aid responds to the government’s consultation on relationships and sex education
Friday 20th July 2018
The government has launched a consultation on draft guidance on relationships and sex education. The consultation is open until 11.45pm on 7th November 2018.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“At Women’s Aid, we have been campaigning for compulsory relationship and sex education for many years. We know from our experience of working with survivors of domestic abuse that this is a way to address some of the root causes of abusive behaviour in relationships. The launch of the government’s consultation on the draft relationship and sex education guidance is a step in the right direction, however it is disappointing that the implementation has been delayed until 2020.
“We welcome the draft guidance proposing that schools must teach children and young people about how to have a safe and healthy relationship, covering all forms of violence, coercion and abuse, both online and offline. The ‘whole school approach’ to tackle sexism and bullying within schools is essential to challenge violence against women and girls.
“Relationship and sex education is fundamental to the safety and protection of all children and young people. It is therefore essential that we start to teach children and young people about relationships and consent in primary school and that no child or young person is denied their right to learn about healthy relationships by their parents. We urge the government to reconsider allowing parents to take their children out of these important lessons and call for relationship and sex education to be rolled out in primary schools.
“We know from our member services’ decades of experience as well as the demand from schools for our Expect Respect toolkit for teachers, that specialist domestic abuse services are central to the delivery of high quality relationship and sex education. By building and resourcing partnerships between schools and their local domestic abuse services, we can work together to build a world where everyone can live free from fear and abuse.”
If you are worried about your relationship or that of a friend or family member, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.
For more information or to arrange interviews with Women’s Aid spokespeople or case studies, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected].