The Rise of Sexual Assault in Schools

In NSW government schools alone, the number of alleged student-on-student attacks rose from 90 incidents in 2015 to 142 last year.

As reports of student-on-student sexual assault rise, we are once again confronted with the very real impacts of sexploitation on our children.

A recent article in The Australian, titled “Early sexualisation of kids blamed for the rise in student attacks” revealed ‘in NSW government schools alone, the number of alleged student-on-student attacks rose from 90 incidents in 2015 to 142 last year’, but what is causing such a dramatic increase? Specialist in parenting, children and adolescents, Michael Carr-Gregg, blames the increase on two things,

 “One, the sexualisation of kids, and that’s through the media, and two, through their seeing pornography. I don’t think there’s any question about it.’’ 


Day in, day out, children are exposed to the degradation of women. It is a kind of cultural wallpaper, from ubiquitous advertisements to video games, music videos and of course porn. Collective Shout has addressed some of these examples. For instance, in an experiment that they conducted at a shopping centre in Melbourne last year. The increase in the objectification of women, coupled with the ever-lowering age of sexualisation, is causing confusion for children in regards to healthy, respect based relationships with peers and themselves.

NSW Primary Principals Association president Phil Seymour claimed that the reason behind the increase in sexual assault incidents may be ‘really young kids who are trying to find out about the world and what is going on and don’t see the inappropriateness’. However, the fact that children may not see the inappropriateness of obtrusive behaviours signals a cause for concern. Clearly, the messages that young children are absorbing from the world around them is muddying the waters of what are natural curiosities and dangerous and inappropriate behaviours.

Young children are exposed to dangerous messages at much younger ages through the rapid evolution of online media platforms and increasingly accessible devices. While we need to take the time to converse with children about what they are seeing, we also need tougher regulation and leadership to protect children.

Please join Collective Shout in our commitment to protecting children from early sexualisation by signing up today.

Paige Taylor is an English Literature, Media & Culture graduate who is soon to pursue a masters in English Literature after travelling Australia and Asia whilst freelance writing.



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