In February 2021, Chanel Contos posted an Instagram story asking followers if they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted by someone when they were at school. Within 24 hours, over 200 people replied ‘yes’.
Overwhelmed, but unsurprised by the response, Chanel launched a petition calling for more holistic and earlier consent education in Australia, as well as teachusconsent.com, a platform where people could share anonymous testimonies of sexual assault.
The petition, which gathered over 44,000 signatures, and a further 6,600 personal stories of sexual assault were presented to MPs around the country to advocate for this critical education to be included in the national curriculum.
In February 2022, we did it. Ministers of Education from around Australia unanimously committed to mandating holistic and age appropriate consent education in every school, every year, from foundation until Year 10, beginning in 2023.
This monumental change was made possible because of the tens of thousands of voices that supported this movement, the countless hours of volunteer support, and the foundation laid before by pioneering activists in this space.
Teach Us Consent continues to lobby for and provide holistic consent and sexuality education.
Our work spans partnering with organisations to refine and improve their safety, consent and respectful relationships mechanisms, campaigning in Australia and internationally for mandatory consent education in all pockets of society, and continuing to drive cultural change through effective education on social media.