8 Mar 2017

Rape comments happen 'every single day' - student

2:38 pm on 8 March 2017

Boys talking about wanting to rape drunk girls can probably be heard every day in schools around the country, young women and sex education groups say.

man in dark room in front of computer screen, computer generic

Photo: Pixabay

This follows revelations of Facebook postings by two Wellington College students who posted offensive comments about having sex with drunk unconscious girls, and that doing this was a rite of passage.

Wellington College principal Roger Moses said the school was investigating and he was "appalled and disgusted" by the posts.

Mira O'Connor, who is in year 13 at Wellington High School, said a lot of her friends have had bad experiences.

"I would say it's quite common, and I don't think any of us are really surprised.

"Really shocked and disappointed that they'd say this, but not surprised."

Jessica Dellabarca, 20, graduated from Wellington East Girls College in 2014.

She said those kinds of comments were prevalent at parties and online.

"It's not something that pops up every now and then, it is something that happens every single day."

Ms Dellabarca said the focus should be on changing the culture that allowed boys to think the way they did was acceptable.

"I think it's important not to vilify these boys who made these comments, because they're not villains, they've just been brought up in a culture that they think that's okay.

"And I think, rather than say 'oh, that's bad', we need to focus on educating them and bringing them into a system where they know that's not okay."

The Sexual Abuse Prevention Network is a trust which visits all Wellington high schools - including Wellington College - to teach young people about sex, consent and respect.

Its general manager, Fiona McNamara, said there needed to be more, and better, education - as the boys' rape comments are alarmingly common.

"When we talk to adolescents we need to talk to them about what healthy relationships look like, Ms McNamara said.

"So in terms of friends and family and romantic and sexual relationships ... we need to promote sexual consent and reinforce that. There has to be consent every time, and that has to be free, willing and ongoing."

Police have not yet received any complaints about social media posts from two Wellington College schoolboys, boasting about raping drunk, unconscious girls.

The police have not opened an investigation, but said anyone concerned by the posts is welcome to contact them.

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