31 March 2021
The Division of Educational and Child Psychology is deeply concerned about the recent allegations of abuse and ‘rape culture’ made by pupils in schools on the website ‘Everyone’s Invited’.
Schools should be a safe place for children and it is important that we support children, schools and families to make sense of their experiences.
Dr Dan O'Hare, co-chair of the DECP, said:
“As educational psychologists we believe that it’s important, right now, to make time to listen to the children and young people who have chosen to share painful experiences. We need to ensure children have safe spaces to talk and be listened to. This might mean slowing down and being aware of the natural instinct to want to take action or ‘solve’ the problem.”
This news highlights the need for wider, systemic change within school culture and the curriculum. We need to normalise talking about relationships and sex with young people. Whilst these experiences have happened in school, we need to look at the connections between home, school and wider society and how children learn about relationships and sex.
To support young people if they choose to share their experiences it can be useful to: