Earlier this week, we were fortunate to be joined by Deana Puccio Ferraro, co-founder of The RAP Project, who delivered some incredibly powerful and valuable talks to our Senior School students on the topics of consent, sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender stereotypes, and the influence of (social) media.
The RAP (Raising Awareness & Prevention) Project is a successful and well-experienced group offering a series of presentations and programmes aimed at raising awareness about personal safety and prevention in the areas of consent, sexual harassment, assault, and rape, while also discussing the role of pornography and social media in influencing attitudes, expectations, and self-esteem.
Years 7 to 9 tuned in to the ‘Altered, Airbrushed, and Unrealistic’ presentation which talked about consent, owning your body, and owning the choices you make. The session also examined the effects of the negative gender stereotypes portrayed in the media, and how fame, pornography, and social media can influence our body image and expectations.
Years 10 & 11 had the opportunity to hear about and discuss ‘Social Skills for Life’. There was a focus on personal safety advice, the definitions of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and consent, as well as how online hardcore pornography, sexting, and social media can influence attitudes, behaviours, and expectations.
Our Years 12 & 13 listened in to ‘The Big Leap’ which is designed to inform and raise awareness about the dramatic, if exciting, transition from school to university. Deana shared some practical guidance and advice on this adjustment, and the presentation homed in on Freshers’ Week, gap year, porn, ‘LAD-itude’, safety issues, sex and alcohol, amongst others.
As a school, OHS has a great responsibility for all of our students’ safety and well-being. It is, therefore, vital that these discussions take place throughout the whole school community and that our students are able to ask questions in a safe and supportive environment.