The following testimonies were sent to Teach Us Consent by those who passionately believe that inadequate consent education is reason for their sexual abuse during or soon after school. Please note dates are the graduating years. Victims and perpetrators will remain anonymous.
Trigger warning: sexual assault
1800 Respect national helpline 1800 737 732
Lifeline 24 hour crisis line 131 114
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
I was lucky in that I’ve always read a lot of adult novels, and my mother gave me her romance novels to read before I was a teenager. I learnt about consent through these books – I learnt what was okay, what wasn’t, and the difference between a good and a bad guy. A few years ago, I was at a spa and I overhead two women speaking about what books to give their pre-teen daughters to read. I gave them a recommendation for a book that was classified as a YA novel, but one mother looked worried and said she didn’t think it was appropriate because she’d heard there were sex scenes in that book. I felt like saying to her, “well if your daughter isn’t going to read about consensual sex in novels, where do you think she’s going to learn it?”
i went to a party and got fairly drunk. when i was just a bit tipsy i was getting with a couple of people so i guess thats what made the boys think it was okay to do when i was drunk too. they like passed me around and i ended up getting fingered by multiple guys. i was too drunk to comprehend what was happening and couldn’t help myself. there were also multiple photos taken of me that were revealing and inappropriate that i did not consent. i did not have any contact with any of the boys after, they went to a all boys school in the shire
we were both virgins and lost our virginity’s to each other after being together for 1 month or so. a couple months later something seemed to click in him, i can’t even count on my fingers how many times i told him stop, stop i don’t want too and he would say ‘but doesn’t it feel good’, ‘don’t you like it’. i would start tearing up and would wait until he was satisfied as he was in control. i didn’t know this was sexual assault, i didn’t know saying i don’t want to continue, or stop or i’m not in the mood anymore is me saying NO and withdrawing consent.
I’ve never shared my story. To anyone. It’s been 7 years and I’m still not entirely sure I’m ready to. So will not include school etc for the purpose of my testimony. As I read these tonight, I’m heartbroken at the gravity of this. How whilst I’ve torn myself apart, like so many of us, I see a reoccurring, common theme; the shame is almost always brought upon the survivor and so rarely the one who inflicted a lifetime of pain on us. It’s all too familiar as I read the testimonies of others. I was 15 and went to one of my first parties. All I remember was being with two of my so called male friends talking outside and the next minute the entire party looking at me as I was taken into a bedroom. I was drunk, confused and being forceable taken to a private room. Everyone just watched. I was taken to the bed unable to move. The two boys who were a year older than me began to preform sexual acts on me and took it in turns to violate me and then ‘pleasure’ themselves while the other did what they wanted. Makes me sick thinking about it. I blacked out. I woke up to one of them raping me. Apparently the only reason the other boy didn’t get so far was because he quite literally couldn’t get it up. The door locked, I unable to move, the boys shouted ‘she’s fine’ when a friend tried to get in and stop them. When I got myself up and ran out of the room was the moment, mine, not theirs ‘reputation’ was slammed. I was labelled a slut. I was laughed at at school. I became ‘that girl’ the slut shaming that came after was horrific. I think the hardest part was, I had to redeem myself but those boys and those around them carried on like nothing ever happened. And when they did see me, they’d taunt me by shouting each of the boys names, like it was some sick joke.
My older brother was groomed and hunted down, by social media and as he was signing out on his final day by a teacher. I don’t know details but the process for the department of education to listen was prolonged and he was of the lgtbq+ who was wrongly assaulted and harassed. He was not formally ‘not a student’ at this point. The teacher continued to teach ME as the prolonged process was in action.
When I was in year 11 a new boy moved to our school (co-Ed) from an all boys school and we began dating. He placed a lot of pressure on me to go further sexually (I had only ever kissed previous boyfriends) however, I made it clear that I didn’t want to. We went to a party together where he continually encouraged me to get drunk and continually provided me with drinks. Eventually, all I remember is being in the bathroom on the floor with him giving me oral sex. Luckily my friends found us and pulled me away (as they knew I did not want this). After this, he then pulled me out onto the backyard, saying that I now owed him and tried to push me down on him to ‘return the favour’. I ran off and my friends mum picked me up, since then, my friends and I have never discussed what occurred. so much shame followed me and I actually stayed in a relationship with him for a while after.
I was raped by a young man from Riverview who graduated in 2001. I was 14. I only found my voice to be able to speak about this after watching Grace Tane’s national press club speech. I have since learned that the same man also raped one of my best friends about 2 weeks later. Who knows how many other women he has raped since 1998.
when i was get my friends 17th birthday party, freshly 17 myself, we were sleeping at her house. one of my other friends was asleep on a matress. a boy who i had known and been friends with for five years was talking me to bed. I was drunk and kept trying to get up and go back to the party he held me down in the bed until everybody else was asleep. he got up and I thought he was leaving. at this point he thought i was asleep, or close enough. he took his pants off and he just had jocks on and he got back into the bed with me and pressed himself up against me and I could feel his dick on my leg. I didn’t move or say anything I was so scared I froze. i just laid there and pretended i was asleep. he adjusted my arms to make us ‘cuddle’ and proceeded to feel me up touching me everywhere except my actual vagina. i couldn’t move. my best friend was asleep in the matress right next to me. i couldn’t even nudge her. his breathing was so heavy in my ear and on my neck. i don’t even remember him leaving. keep in mind this whole time, he thought i was asleep! the next day when I told my three best friends they made it a joke and laughed, so I laughed about it and I brushed it off like it was nothing for a year. when i eventually told some other friends of mine they took it seriously. and everything that should’ve hit me a year ago. hit me all at once. this boy still continues to hang around me and make rude ‘jokes’ to me like nothing ever happened. he has a high role in the leadership of our school. so many people respect him. i just want everyone to know what he did to me. but i don’t have the guts to tell many people. since i told those girls. i have told three of my best guy friends. and they all support me which is really good to know.