Sinn Féin Councillor Aileen Mellon has said an inclusive, diverse and fact-based ‘Relationships and Sexuality’ education programme should be made accessible to young people in schools.
The party’s Education spokesperson commented:
“Relationship and sexuality education must be reformed to ensure that information given to young people is effective in encouraging healthy and consensual relationships.
“The ‘No Grey Zone’ campaign raises awareness on behaviour that will be treated as sexual assault unless consent has been granted and also helps explain what constitutes both verbal and non-verbal consent.
“A stigma exists in our society, not only around discussing safe and healthy relationships, but also about the issues concerning LGBTQ citizens and those with disabilities.
“Sinn Féin believes that an inclusive, diverse and fact-based ‘Relationships and Sexuality’ education programme which is appropriate to their age and comprehension should be accessible to all young people.
“The curriculum should contain aspects that cater for LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, modules on consent and all contraceptive options and promote positive sexual health.
“This should be formalised with sufficient teaching hours, teacher training and support, set hours and updated curriculum handbooks.
“All victims of sexual assault or violence should receive the necessary support. They should feel that when reporting to the police, that they being listened to, respected and have confidence that their report is being fully investigated.”