Archives for : TEENS

Female teacher charged with persistent sex abuse of girl student in WA

A teenage girl was subjected to sexual assaults by her 26-year-old female teacher for almost a year,police say.West Australia

The teacher faces 23 sexual assault charges, including 15 counts of sexual penetration and one count of persistent sexual conduct with a child aged under 16.


The WA female teacher faces a spate of sex abuse charges, including rape. 

Police allege the 15-year-old student was abused between July 2015 and May 2016.

The offenses were reported on Friday evening and the woman was arrested on Saturday.

The woman is to appear in the Magistrates Court Midlands on June 14.



Henry Sapiecha

The barriers need to be broken before girls across the world achieve their true potential.

Breaking down barriers for girls across the world …

All over the world today millions of people are celebrating the first International Day of the Girl Child. But many others will likely question why we need a day that focuses just on girls – don’t we already have an International Women’s Day, a strong feminist movement, and countless policies and programs designed to fight gender inequality?


The reality is that the world is only now starting to realise that tens of millions of girls face daily discrimination, poverty and violence, simply because they were born female.

One in three girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence.

Girls have been explicitly mentioned in annual themes for International Women’s Day just three times in the past 100 years. The combination of their gender and age renders them almost invisible.

Girls are especially vulnerable due to their age and often complete lack of power or control over their lives. This means a different, and perhaps more urgent, response is required if we are to harness their potential to create a better life for themselves and their children, a more prosperous, peaceful community and a healthier workforce.

That’s why Plan International lobbied the UN to declare October 11 the International Day of the Girl Child.

Of course, girls and boys have the same entitlements to human rights, but they face different challenges in accessing them – girls are less likely to complete school, have less opportunity for meaningful work, are more likely to be living with HIV and AIDS, and are more likely to experience rape or other forms of sexual violence.

Each year, more than 10 million girls are forced to marry as children, which usually means an end to their education, and a life of ill-health and poverty.

Dealing with the specific needs and rights of girls is key to breaking cycles of poverty with benefits for everyone – boys and girls, men and women. For example, as a country’s primary school enrolment rate for girls increases, so does its gross domestic product per head.

In fact, education is one of the best ways to help girls to move from poverty to opportunity. An educated girl will be more likely to marry later in life and have fewer, healthier children, who will be three to 10 times more likely to survive.

For every extra year of high school, a girl’s future income increases by 15 to 25 per cent. With the opportunity to earn a living, she will pull herself out of poverty and bring her children along with her. She will invest what she earns in them – in their health, education and futures.

But one of the most pressing challenges facing girls is access to quality education. One in three girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence. That’s 75 million girls out of school.

Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as enrolling more girls in school. What they learn, and the conditions they learn in, are crucial factors. In Australia, we often hear complaints of children leaving school unable to read or write properly. In schools around the world, millions of girls are learning that they are inferior, and that their main purpose in life is to have children. And for too many girls, school is a place where they suffer bullying, violence and even sexual abuse.

Girls and boys need an education that provides them the skills they need for life, including the confidence and capabilities they need to be active, equal citizens, and to have positive relationships with others. If we can achieve this, everyone benefits.

Plan’s newest State of the World’s Girls report, called Learning for Life, highlights the fact that adolescent girls are particularly at risk of missing out on their education. It shows that there has been great progress in increasing primary enrolment for girls, but when they reach adolescence, the pressure of poverty and expectations of their reproductive and domestic roles results in a significant increase in the numbers of girls dropping out of school.

The ”Because I am a Girl” campaign, being launched on this first International Day of the Girl Child, aims to break down the barriers to ensure that all girls, as well as boys, receive at least nine years of quality education.

As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, the world will be debating what should be included in the new road map for global development and sustainability.

There is no better place to start than making quality education for girls an urgent priority.

Ian Wishart is chief executive of Plan International Australia.

What happens when a girl hears she’s pretty. Video to watch here.

“Who’s my pretty girl?”

A saying like this might come naturally when raising a girl but it could also be the reason why she isn’t interested in math and science.

A new ad, created by Verizon and Makers, shows how social cues could be responsible for girls’ lack of interest in science and math later in life.


In fact, sixty-six per cent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math but only 18 per cent choose to study engineering at college, reveals the ad.  

The ad follows the story of Samantha from a toddler to a teen.

Samantha is portrayed as having an interest in science. But her parents unknowingly discourage her every step of the way, until she is no longer interested.

When Samantha wonders through the woods, her mum says, “Sammy, sweety don’t get your dress dirty.”

At the beach, when she shows an interest in a star fish her dad tells her, “Sam honey, you don’t to mess with that.”

The final straw for the teen is while building a science project with her brother. Her dad catches her using a power tool and says, “Wow careful with that, why don’t you hand it to your brother?”

Narrated by Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani, the ad delivers an important message.

Words can have a lasting effect on young children, rather than highlighting how pretty she is, “Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant too?”

“Encourage her love of science and technology and inspire her to change the world.”

Henry Sapiecha


Teens in love head pic image

The most panicked calls and emails that I receive from parents are the ones that go something like this: “We just found K-Y lubricant in my daughter’s room! We are furious and terrified. How soon can we see you?!”

We could replace the K-Y Jelly with any number of signs of sexual “awakening” or activity, and they would all be equally unsettling for many parents of girls. The uncomfortable and scary feelings that come up often lead us to imagine locking her in her room until she’s thirty (or at least twenty-one), just so that we don’t have to deal with it.

Fear leads some parents to take extreme, restrictive actions that can be more damaging than they are protective because they tell her it is wrong for her to have sexual desires. We perpetuate the absurd notion that female sexuality is either nonexistent or shameful, and ultimately, we prompt her to disconnect from her body—the same one we that want her to love and protect.

Given that the healthy sexual development of our girls is an absolutely fundamental part of their healthy development overall, failing as her guides in this realm means screwing her up on multiple levels—so we need to get it together. This is a really tough one for many of parents, because our thoughts and feelings around the subject of sex are loaded with programming.

The way in which we, as women and men, see ourselves as sexual beings has been determined largely by this programming, and it quickly makes its way to the surface and affects the way in which we perceive our daughters as they begin to discover and explore their sexuality.

The average mum is terrified that her daughter’s sexual activity will deem her a “slut,” and the average dad knows that she could be objectified by boys and men, just as he was programmed to do. Both are terrified—whether they can define it or not—that this objectification of their daughter will make her a target for ridicule, abuse, rape, or worse. In some cases there is even concern about her behavior bringing shame to her family! We begin to ooze this fear from the mument we even think about our daughter’s entry into this realm.

And how does all this fear impact a girl’s perception of herself? There are six really big and very connected problems with all this fear swirling around a girl’s budding sexuality:

1. Human beings rarely make wise choices from a place of fear. Rather, we make rash, unreasonable, extreme choices that often yield the opposite results of what we were hoping for. In this case, our fears can lead us to make poor parenting choices that fail to protect our daughters. Simply saying “no” or implementing extreme restrictions first and foremost makes her associate the feeling of shame with her sexuality.

Second, it will lead her to stop asking questions and seeking accurate information about sex. This puts her at much higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Third, it can prompt her to explore in more secretive, less supervised, and less safe settings, like the back seat of someone’s car.

2. Because she will undoubtedly feel our fear, she will naturally make associations between her sexual desires and fear. Imagine if in the weeks and months leading up to her first day of kindergarten, you were exuding fear. She would naturally view going to kindergarten as something scary, and this would hinder her ability to be fully present and capable of getting the most out of the experience.

In the case of her sexual development and desires, she makes the same association, and she, too, becomes more apt to make choices from a place of fear rather than ones rooted in strength and clarity. (Think: “I was afraid he wouldn’t like me if I said ‘no.’”)

3. With this strong message from her parents and myriad similar messages out in the world in tow, by the time she reaches middle school, she begins to face a very common dilemma. She realizes there are only two paths to choose from when it comes to her sexuality, and both are dangerous. She will be shamed for being a “prude” or a “tease” if she isn’t sexually active, and she will be shamed for being a “slut” or a “whore” if she is. No matter what, she’s still expected to be sexy.

In either case, someone other than herself is dictating what is acceptable or unacceptable sexual behavior. This frequently leads a girl to feel a lack of power over her own sexuality, and she will begin to disconnect from her sexual desire and, inevitably, from her body. (Deborah Tolman speaks to this dilemma at length in Dilemmas of Desire.)

4. When a girl disconnects from her sexuality and her body, several things happen that put her in danger. She stops being the gatekeeper of her body. She stops being actively responsible for listening to what feels good and what doesn’t, determining who touches her and how, and fiercely protecting herself.

Instead, she explains away her sexual behavior as having “just happened” (easily explained away if she gets “drunk” first). She defers to what someone else determines feels good or doesn’t, and she is much less likely to insist that protection is used if it does “just happen.” 2

5. This also sets our boys up to receive mixed messages they are underprepared to interpret. When a girl doesn’t feel like she can own her sexuality and be in charge of her sexual desires without shame, she will expect the boy to take the lead. This can prompt a boy to think that he has permission to go way further than he actually does.

Couple that with the societal (“Man Box”) message that he is supposed to be dominant and that he’s a “faggot” if he’s not, and you’ve got a recipe for sexual aggression. Current studies show that as many as one in three high school girls has been sexually assaulted by a dating partner. None of us wants this for our daughters, nor do we want our sons to learn about this sexual dilemma through a rape charge.

6. Lastly, all this fear, feeding on itself and growing, leads us to over-manage and under-value female sexuality. We perpetuate the shaming and subject our girls and our boys to the same programming that has been passed from generation to generation—and once again, the cycle continues.

The impact that these fears have on a girl’s development—sexual, psychological, physical, and emotional—is extremely detrimental and there is a strong likelihood that she will carry this disconnection from a core part of her being well into adulthood. We simply cannot underestimate how important it is that we ensure that she has every opportunity to become a well-informed, shame-free, sexual being.

Henry Sapiecha