Rape crisis centre calls for earlier sex education on consent

Children in Ireland need to be learning the difference between rape and sexual consent at a much younger age, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said.

Rape crisis centre calls for earlier sex education on consent

Children in Ireland need to be learning the difference between rape and sexual consent at a much younger age, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said.

The group claims it is "absolutely essential" something is done amid growing concern about the sexualisation of young people.

The head of education at the centre is calling for a renewed focus on some of the more contentious areas of sex education.

Leonie O'Dowd said some young people are being coerced by their peers and by outside messages into certain kinds of behaviour, and are very confused.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, she pointed to a study showing a quarter of school leavers have had an unwanted sexual experience.

However, Ms O'Dowd insists the education in schools must be age appropriate and teachers must have the proper resources.

She said that most children had been exposed to sexual imagery by the age of 11, and while efforts should be made to protect children from it, they should still be offered help when they do encounter it.

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