For Immediate Release
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Campaign advocates for sex ed that includes consent, violence prevention education
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) joined Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too” movement, to launch a national campaign called, “#TeachThem.” The campaign highlights the lack of education surrounding sexual assault, harassment, and consent in schools and provides resources for individuals to advocate for better sexuality education policies in their communities.
“When it comes to teaching our young people about sexual violence, we are failing,” said Tarana Burke, Me Too movement founder. “We need to start earlier to proactively discuss the entire spectrum of violence and help shift the culture so we are preventing another generation of children from having to say, 'me too.' We have an incredible opportunity to do that with comprehensive sexuality education. Let’s not waste it.”
The majority of people in the United States report never having learned about concepts like sexual assault and consent in middle school or high school. While sparse, most sexuality education programs in the United States focus on concepts such as abstinence, preventing sexually transmitted infections, and avoiding unintended pregnancy—typically overlooking related aspects like consent and sexual violence. However, sexuality education programs are incomplete without these critical topics.
“With the recent increase in conversations surrounding sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood, the media, and across individuals’ social media feeds, it’s hard for anyone to deny that we have a serious problem in this country,” said Chitra Panjabi, SIECUS President and CEO. “How can we effect meaningful change? We can start by teaching people how to respect one another and identify unacceptable behaviors early on.”
The “#TeachThem” toolkit includes a three-fold advocacy approach to improve sexuality education to better educate students about sexual assault. The resources allow advocates to learn about the policies that exist in their community, engage with local and state-level officials, and take action at the federal level through calls to Congress.
“We have a real opportunity not only to teach young people that sexual violence is wrong, but also, to say, ‘If this happened or is happening to you, it is not your fault, we believe and are here for you,’” Panjabi said.
In addition to advocacy resources, the campaign also offers sample social media content and sharable graphics for individuals and organizations to post and share across their social media channels under the hashtag #TeachThem.
Interested in learning more? View the #TeachThem toolkit to participate in the campaign today.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.