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Legal Aid WA launches Statewide high school sex and consent education campaign in Albany

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Legal Aid WA acting manager community legal education and training Katy McDougall with Great Southern Grammar school captains Andrew Smith and Ellie Slatter.
Camera IconLegal Aid WA acting manager community legal education and training Katy McDougall with Great Southern Grammar school captains Andrew Smith and Ellie Slatter. Credit: Legal Aid WA

Albany high school students were the first in the State to take part in a new education program to be rolled out across WA to empower teenagers to know their legal rights, responsibilities and repercussions around sex and consent.

Legal Aid WA launched its new resources — Let’s Talk About Sex and Consent — at Great Southern Grammar on Wednesday last week as part of its community legal education program for Year 9-12 students.

The R U Legal? program has been informing young people about the criminal justice system and the laws that affect them since 2015, reaching 20,000 students in 115 WA schools last year.

The new WA-specific resources were developed in response to calls for more early education to tackle rape culture and sexual violence after the high-profile cases of Brittany Higgins and Australian of the Year Grace Tame stirred national conversations about consent.

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The clear and simple resources have been developed by Legal Aid WA to teach students the facts on the laws around sex and consent, the age of consent, and the impact of drugs and alcohol on consent.

The sessions address changing your mind, consenting to different types of sexual activities and how to make sure you have consent.

LAWA acting manager community legal education and training Katy McDougall said there was a lot of confusion about laws in relation to sex and consent which differ across Australia and can have serious consequences if you get it wrong.

“LAWA works closely with the Department of Education and we identified a need for more clear, simple resources about the laws on consent for use in WA schools, particularly following recent public events which shone a spotlight on this issue,” she said.

“Through our R U Legal? program and these new resources, LAWA aims to empower young people in WA with correct legal information about their rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual consent and develop their understanding of what true consent looks like.”

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