• Our Words Matter

Listen to young people on sexual violence

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Opinion written by Stacey Shortall


Much has been said publicly by adults about the police decision not to prosecute any of the so- called Roast Busters who allegedly had group sex with drunk girls and then boasted about it online.


But what truly matters will be what is said privately by our children. To themselves. And to their friends. While alternative complaint processes and law changes better assisting sexual assault victims may well merit consideration, they are bottom-of- the-cliff solutions. Having our children make different decisions about alcohol and sex is at the top of that same cliff.


And those will be their decisions, often made in the throes of parties and surrounded by their peers. It will be the words of our children that then matter - yes, no, start, stop, more, enough.


So let us help them find those words. Let us stop talking. And have our children start. Perhaps if we really listen we might discover enough to better engage with them about drinking and vulnerability and respect and consent.

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 Even when words don't seem enough, they matter. They help us create connections, make meaningful contributions and overcome some of the deep-seated issues facing our country.

 

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