Lessons From Rehtaeh & Steubenville: Talking To Boys About Rape
Rape, sexual assault, boys, girls. It is on everyone's minds, including the minds of every media outlet available. First there was Steubenville, and then there was our Canadian version in Cole Harbour where Rehtaeh Parsons lived, and died.
We spend a lot of energy talking to girls about how to avoid rape but now, finally, the conversation is turning to talking to boys about respecting and expecting consent. In other words, teaching not to rape.
But it's not an easy conversation to have and it starts very young. We should be teaching all kids about boundaries -- that the words 'stop' and 'no' have weight. Even professionals have a hard time with it. I asked Marnie Goldenberg, a mother of two, a lawyer, a sexual health educator and the person behind Sexplainer.com to write about how she spoke to her 8-year-old about sexual assault and how she was planting the seeds of informed consent at a young age.