Make Sexual Assault Education Compulsory In New Zealand Secondary Schools

Make Sexual Assault Education Compulsory In New Zealand Secondary Schools

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Why this petition matters

Started by Georgia Mackey

We are three year 13 students from Macleans College, Lexie Moore, Kara MacGillivray and Georgia Mackey, who are very passionate about women's rights. This year we are taking Social Studies which has given us the opportunity to be able to make a real change in New Zealand through our chosen topic of Sexual Assault. The term sexual assault refers to an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches someone else or forces them to partake in sexual activity without their explicit consent. From the research we have done into this topic, we have discovered it is a huge issue in New Zealand. In New Zealand, sexual assault is one of the key social problems undermining the health and well-being of our population. It has a wide prevalence and can have a high impact. 

From our research into Sexual Assault in New Zealand, we have found some extremely distressing statistics including:

- Only about 10 out of 100 sexual abuse crimes are reported and 3 of those get to court. (

- Statistics show that one in three girls may be sexually abused before turning 16 years old in New Zealand. (

- It has been statistically proven that people within younger age groups are at a higher risk of sexual assault. People within the 16-24 year old age group are up to four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other age group. (,than%20any%20other%20age%20group)

- In a recent Auckland study, more than 23% of women who participated reported having been sexually assaulted as children. The study also found that these victims of childhood sexual abuse are twice as likely as non-victims to experience later personal violence. (

We best believe that the enforcement of compulsory education programmes against the issues of sexual assault is necessary in order to create a change in the high rates of Sexual Assault. These educational resources would be targeted at both girls and boys starting from the beginning of high school and following through yearly. We believe that Sexual assault education should be compulsory in all New Zealand secondary schools. This is due to the fact that the education that young people experience during their early years of schooling plays a large role in the shaping of life values. The lack of education on sexual assault is not allowing the young New Zealanders to develop into knowledgeable adults that are able to make decisions that will not negatively affect others. If education was to improve and potential perpetrators are given thorough education, this would hopefully reduce alarming statistics around sexual assault. Improved sex ed would also help young people to form healthy and safe sexual relationships and recognise unhealthy ones.

We are proposing that the New Zealand Ministry of Education create a compulsory sexual assault course that provides real knowledge on the purpose of sexual consent, the consequences, and the right sources of who to go to.

We also need to ensure that students are made aware of all the options and outlets they have available to them if they are affected by sexual assault. 

From our research into the current sexual assault education, we have discovered that less than 15% of schools in New Zealand were using the Government-funded programme for sexual assault, as of May 2021. (

There are some programs already existing, such as ‘Mates and Dates’, which aims to reduce sexual and dating violence, similar to what we are trying to achieve. We believe that programmes like this are extremely effective, and they should be funded to be readily available for all secondary schools in the country that wish to use the services they provide.

We believe that sexual assault education should be compulsory for every year of college, beginning in year 9 and repeating every year until year 13. This is because the more the content is repeated, the better the content will be remembered, and it will become very familiar to all of the students. We act to do this as we do not want the education on sexual assault to be forgotten as it is an extremely important issue, especially in New Zealand. 

The reason that we believe this education is necessary for young adults to learn in school as research shows that sexual abuse towards young people is most likely to be perpetrated by a family member. This would indicate that the government cannot rely on family members to teach this kind of information, when they themselves may be the perpetrators. it also may be an uncomfortable topic for family members to discuss, meaning that many young adults would not be educated about the topic. Due to this, to ensure all young adults are becoming educated about sexual assault, compulsory education in schools is necessary. 

The education that we would be focusing on includes; consent, awareness, short and long term effects of sexual assault, signs of sexual assault, ways to help and support a person during or after being sexually assaulted, reporting sexual assault and more.

We have also created a website if you would be interested in reading more about our topic! :)






139 have signed. Let’s get to 200!