Combatting Sexual Harassment in Schools
At Johnston & Marsh Training & Consultancy Ltd we pride ourselves on the delivery of educational workshops, produced by academic experts, to combat the issues surrounding sexual harassment, the sending of ‘nudes’ and sexual assault in schools.
There is a growing number of incidences of sexual violence amongst primary and secondary schools. This issue has attracted wide media attention over the course of the last few months with the publication of the Everyone’s Invited website in March 2021. The website has over 16,000 accounts of young people being subjected to sexual violence. Moreover, the Ofsted Report (2021) discovered that 9 out of 10 school girls have experienced sexual harassment. This is an endemic problem facing schools and colleges throughout the UK.
To challenge this issue, we offer training for staff and education for pupils on how to identify sexual violence and challenge such behaviour. Examples of our content include exploring what it means to consent to sexual activity, why sending ‘nudes’ is problematic and highlighting the synergy between sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Meet the Experts
Dr. Ed Johnston is an academic lawyer with over a decade’s experience teaching at University, where he holds the position of Senior Lecturer. Having obtained his PhD in the field of criminal procedure, Ed teaches and researches in the areas surrounding criminal procedure, justice and sexual offences. Ed is passionate about social justice and trying to instigate change from within. Ed is widely published and speaks at home and abroad on a wide array of topics.
Sophie Marsh is an Associate Lecturer in Law and Criminology and a Law PhD candidate. Her thesis explores the extent to which rape myths are impacting the high levels of attrition in cases of rape. Sophie’s interests include sexual offences, criminal procedure, criminal law and human rights, in particular, issues surrounding consent, victim-blaming and sexual harassment.
At Johnston & Marsh Training & Consultancy Ltd, we are passionate about wider societal change. Education happens within the context of a larger community. Our approach extends beyond the school to help ensure students have the necessary support to combat and challenge the rising levels of sexual violence and other criminal justice issues.
On 14th July 2021, we ran a poll on our Instagram account (@jandmtcltd) which asked followers about their experiences of receiving education on sexual violence at school.
When asked “did your school offer sexual education on sexual violence?”, 100 % of 33 voters answered “no.”
When asked “would it have benefited you to receive education on sexual violence?”, 94 % of 29 voters answered “yes.”
Here are some examples of answers to how this would have benefited ex-pupils at school.
- “Knowing that what happened to me wasn’t my fault” - victim blaming is rife within the field of sexual assault. Our sessions highlight that the victim is never to blame, despite the existence of the myth of victim blaming.
- “I was working a part time job, had my bum pinched twice by senior staff. This would’ve encouraged me to feel confident enough to report this issue” - our sessions highlight that this behaviour without consent is not ‘playful banter’. It needs to be reported.
- “I would have been able to recognise exploitation”
- “Would have taught some boys that sometimes their actions constitute sexual harassment” - educating boys about the conduct and behaviour is a core tenet of our sessions.
- “Learning what it actually means! Learning boundaries! Not being taken advantages of when drunk at young ages and not knowing what it actually means!” - students will leave the sessions knowing what consent actually means.
- “Maybe I would have known that I had been sexually assaulted at the time it happened and not years later when I felt like nothing could be done as it was too late” - again, the re-affirimation that you need to consent to any activity is fundamentally important. We want pupils to feel comfortable sexually developing but provide them with the confidence to say ‘no’ and understand that ‘no’ means no!
- “I would have realised that my boyfriend having sex with me whilst asleep was rape” - the session on sexual assault will allow students to understand that sexual intercourse without consent is rape. The students will recognise that consent can be withdrawn at any stage.
- “To educate on the importance of consent, relationship or not” - our first session spells out the meaning of consent and how you do not have to give it.
- “Knowing what happened was wrong. Not that it was normal like I was told” - students will learn the difference between consensual and non-consensual behaviour.
As our survey demonstrates there is a clear gap in school education surrounding consent and what constitutes appropriate behaviour. Our sessions will cover what is and is not appropriate, how to obtain valid consent and the ramifications of the inappropriate behaviour.It also demonstrates the important role both awareness and education play in effort to dismantle the prevalence and culture of sexual violence surrounding school-aged children. Our survey, alongside the Everyone’s Invited website and the recent OFSTED report highlight how rife these issues are. Our program will help educate your pupils about appropriate behaviour and will play a part in not only educating pupils about these issues but reduce the instances of sexual harassment in your school.
What We Can Offer
Our 60 minute session will include a short, yet powerful, presentation on 3 topics that are particularly relevant to young people. We will cover:
1. What is sexual violence?
We will highlight examples such as non-consensual touching, up-skirting, sexual harassment including cat calling, whistling and then more severe offences such as sexual assault and rape.
2. Possession and distribution of indecent images
Here we will discuss the swapping of ‘nudes’ and the legal ramifications of such an act. Young people may not realise that this act could lead to legal intervention which could hold stark ramifications for their futures.
3. What is consent?
We will discuss various examples of what is true consent. It is important to highlight that coercion, bullying and ultimately forcing someone to send you nudes or engage in sexual activity is an offence.
Ideally, we aim to change the culture of sexual relations with young people and highlight that this is arguably the most important stage in their sexual development to understand what sexual violence is and how you can respect your partner whilst still developing sexual intimacy and autonomy.
We are happy to provide bespoke sessions with any number of students, so can tailor the numbers and cost to suit your needs. We can also offer:
· Face to face delivery
· Online delivery
· Training for staff
· Pre-recorded delivery and after event activities for your staff to go through with the pupils.
Get In Touch
We want to help your school eradicate sexual harassment and assaults. Our workshops are designed with your pupils in mind. Please get in touch to discuss the various packages we can offer your school.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website: www.jandmtc.com