Funding boost for consent education

Dept of Social Services

The Albanese Labor Government is continuing its commitment to women’s safety and progressing the goal of ending violence against women and children in one generation with $3.5 million in direct funding to Teach Us Consent.

As part of the 2023-24 Budget, the funding will help Teach Us Consent expand its work on sexual violence and consent, particularly targeting young people aged 16 years and above.

A total of $3.5 million will directly go to the organisation, which will support the development and distribution of social media resources on consent, which aim to reduce sexual violence among young Australians, by fostering positive attitudes and behaviours.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said young people need evidence-based and age-appropriate resources to help them understand consent and healthy relationships.

“We know Australians are experiencing sexual violence at an alarming rate, particularly younger age groups, with one in five women having experienced sexual violence since the age of 15,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Evidence shows that improving attitudes and understanding is a key method of prevention of sexual harm and violence.

“Violence against women and children is a problem of epidemic proportions in Australia. The impact of this ripples out across families in Australia, communities and society – including as a result of sexual violence.

“This will ultimately reduce sexual violence among young people, who are at a heightened risk of both experiencing and perpetrating this kind of violence. We want to be evidence-based and invest in things that work.”

This funding will include supporting a youth-led expert advisory group to provide advice on how to effectively engage young people on consent and sexual violence prevention.

Funding for Teach Us Consent is one component of a broader package of measures targeting sexual violence and consent announced in the Budget.

This measure supports implementation of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, and is part of the Government’s $589.3 million investment in the prevention of family, domestic, and sexual violence in this week’s 2023-24 Budget.

Teach Us Consent Founder Chanel Contos said this funding will be a breakthrough for sexual violence and consent education.

“There needs to be a holistic approach to consent education in Australia and I’m excited for Teach Us Consent to be able to amplify the work of experts and educators to build on the positive messages around consent and sexual violence that young people will receive in more formal settings,” Ms Contos said.

“Teach Us Consent has always been about bringing the voices of youth to the desks of policy makers. The creation of a youth-led expert advisory group will take this aspect of our work to the next level.

“Young people need to have their voices heard and reflected in the messages they receive about what consent means and what behaviour is acceptable.”

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