The recent Sex Education in South Australia report, from the Commissioner for Children and Young People, highlights the importance of educating young people about gender, power, and rights. The report found that 49% of girls and 31% of boys aged 16-17 years had experienced “some form of unwanted sexual behaviour” in the past year.
In an article on the report, Connolly told the ABC that “young people feel they don’t have a good understanding of the social and practical aspects of consent and do not know how to navigate image-based abuse, including unwanted exposure to pornography and the damaging use of sexting.”
The Rize Above program seeks to address these issues, educating young people about consensual and respectful sex and relationships.
Rize Above is a multi-stream primary prevention relationship education program for young people. By ‘gamifying’ and ‘videofying’ information, Rize Above makes this information accessible and interesting to its young audience.
“The site is co-designed with young people, for young people. It is a place for them to explore respectful relationships in a way that has meaning for them and their community.”
— Melissa Ruthen, Community Projects Coordinator, RASA
Developed by Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA) in partnership with the City of Salisbury, Rize Above was built with the guidance and influence of young community members. The program features an interactive website, peer-mentorship program, and respectful relationships online learning program.
The program is currently being delivered at two schools — Mark Oliphant College and Playford International College.
“Young people affected by family violence suffer from lower social and emotional competence and diminished academic performance… and live in constant fear of abuse”
— Jacky Smith, Mark Oliphant College, Rize Above Launch 2021
Since launching in March 2021, Rize Above has enrolled 850 students. Schools interested in incorporating an online version of the Rize Above program into their curriculum can contact the team here. For more information, visit rizeabove.org.au or watch https://vimeo.com/499879212.