The student who created Canadian the organization ‘High School Too’ is leading the charge nationwide in bringing dialogue to the issue of sexual assault in secondary schools.
The leaders of this organization argue that most secondary schools don’t do enough to teach students about consent and lack proper resources to combat sexual violence. The goal of High School Too is to create an environment at schools where individuals feel safe, can heal, and are heard.
Data from the Canadian Women’s Foundation states that 30% of all women 15 or older experience sexual assault at least once in their life. Even more worrying is that only 33% of Canadians actually understand what it means to give consent to sexual activity.
Bronte Ibbotson, one of the organizers, states that individuals as young as 13 are experiencing sexual harassment at high schools. They further state that the true frequency of this conduct is underreported and most of the time the individuals don’t understand the severity of the conduct that is occurring.
High School Too has listed the following policies as initiatives that can be taken to help prevent high school sexual violence:
- Stand-Alone Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policies
- End Dress Code Policies
- Support Student Leaders
- Collaborate With Community Sexual Violence Organizations
- Sustainable Funding to Address Sexual Violence and Harassment
- Provincial Standards on Data Collection
- Consent Awareness Week
- Comprehensive Sexual Violence, Relationships and Consent Education
- National Survey
- Ensure that Youth are Prioritized in the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence