Open letter to Warwickshire CC: Stop normalising the use of pornography to children

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Respect Yourself website is "under review" but we still need answers from WCC

Firstly, thank you so much for signing our petition. Your engagement has shown WCC how important this issue is to parents. The Respect Yourself website has now been taken down and it is currently "under review". However, we note that Warwickshire County Council have made no comment which recognises the harmful nature of some of the content of the website, nor have they sought to explain to parents how this came to be published. We have written to WCC - a copy of the letter is included below. Please do continue to share the petition. 

Thank you

Dear Ms Fogarty and Councillor Morgan,

We would like to draw your attention to the Open Letter to Warwickshire County Council which we published on Change.org on the 7th October, relating to the promotion of the WCC-endorsed SRE website ‘Respect Yourself’ (https://respectyourself.info/ This gathered 500 signatures in the first two days.

bit.ly/35iAE7c

We note that on the 9th October the ‘Respect Yourself’ website was taken down for review, and we welcome this move.

However, we also note that Warwickshire County Council have made no comment which recognises the harmful nature of some of the content of this website, nor have you sought to explain to parents how this came to be published.

We’re sure that you are aware that peer on peer (mostly boy on girl) sexual harassment and assault increased  in schools in Warwickshire by 521% between 2013-16. Given the widely reported increase in sexual harassment and sexist behaviour in all our schools (see the recent NEU / UK Feminista report ‘It’s Just Everywhere’), combatting sexual harassment and sexist behaviour should be treated as a priority in SRE. Instead, the ‘Respect Yourself’ website goes into detail about numerous porn-inspired sexual practices which are degrading to women, with the implication that children may want to try them. Pornography itself is normalised throughout the website with no recognition of its harmful effects.

We would appreciate an answer to the following questions:

  • Which external groups or organisations were consulted in the development of the content for this website?
  • Who within Warwickshire County Council was responsible for signing off on the content of this website?
  • What specific studies or evidence were referred to when deciding to inform children that pornography does not increase sexual violence, and is empowering for women?
  • What safeguarding risk assessments were done before deciding to share information on violent and degrading sexual acts with young teenagers?
  • Given that Warwickshire County Council’s teenage pregnancy strategy is co-ordinated by the Respect Yourself Campaign Team, did this strategy inform the decision to teach children that anal sex is an appropriate way to avoid pregnancy?

We also seek your reassurance that you will take into account the relevant legislation in the creation of any new content, in particular the Equality Act 2010 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

We look forward to hearing from you,

 

SSAUK and Click Off
2 years ago