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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Joe Sullivan

Scottish students launch campaign to tackle gender-based violence

A GROUP of young women from Perth and Kinross who lead a campaign to tackle peer sexual abuse are taking part in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence next week.

The Bold Girls Ken campaign, which looks to educate young people about consent in relationships, has invited every secondary school in the council to support their awareness week, running from Monday, December 4 until Friday, December 8.

The nine young women, aged 16 to 19 from Bertha Park High School, Crieff High School and Perth College who lead the Bold Girls Ken campaign will be raising awareness in their own schools.

They have created resources for schools and colleges to use, including an introductory PowerPoint explaining what consent is and a series of leaflets and flyers.

Bold Girls Ken's leaders have also created resources for professionals who teach about consent, and will partner with the Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC) Perth & Kinross to take over Perth and Kinross Council’s social media for the day on Tuesday, December 5.

The campaign also seeks to ensure young people get realistic and appropriate information about consent and information about where to go for help and support if they need it.

It has been launched and delivered in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council as part of the Young Women Know project being run by children's protection charity NSPCC Scotland and The Young Women's Movement.

The students' awareness week overlaps the UN's worldwide 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, which runs until Sunday, December 10.

Running since 1991, it brings together campaigns for the eradication of gender-based violence all around the world together into one.

Natasha Reilly, local campaigns officer for NSPCC Scotland, said: “Bold Girls Ken are very excited about taking part in the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence and they look forward to seeing how schools and other settings use the resources they have created to raises awareness of these important issues. 

“We hope everyone can follow Perth & Kinross council’s social media pages on December 5 to hear some important messages from Bold Girls Ken and RASAC on preventing sexual violence and how we can improve our understanding of consent.”

Laurie Duffy, collective voice & action lead for The Young Women's Movement (YWM), said: "Bold Girls Ken have worked really hard to pull together a bank of informative and engaging resources around consent in time for 16 Days of Activism.

“The resources aim to encourage meaningful conversations on crucial topics such as healthy relationships and consent among all young people and to provide information for both young people and teachers.

“Schools play a pivotal role in creating open and inclusive spaces for these conversations to happen not just during 16 days but every day. We are really excited to see how the resources are utilised across Perth & Kinross."

Councillor Michelle Frampton, depute convener of Perth and Kinross Council’s Learning and Families Committee, said: “Gender-based violence is unacceptable and it is vital children and young people understand consent.

“Bold Girls Ken is a fantastic project that uses the lived experience of young women to educate their peers about what makes a healthy relationship.

“It is great to see young people in Perth and Kinross addressing these issues head on and educating their peers about something so important.”

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