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British MP urges girls to “just say no to sexual abuse”

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Summary of story from Too Much To Say For Myself , May 16, 2011

Earlier this month, British Conservative MP Nadine Dorries proposed a bill to introduce abstinence-only sex education classes for teenage girls (see WVoN story).

Yesterday, while Ms Dorries appeared on The Vanessa Show, the host, Vanessa Feltz,  suggested that children are already taught to say no from a very early age.

This was Dorries’s response:

“Well do you know that’s really interesting because one of the reasons for this is that some of the evidence that I’ve heard is that if a stronger just say no message was given to children in school that there might be an impact on sex abuse.

“Because a lot of girls, when sex abuse takes place, don’t realise until later that that was a wrong thing to do.

“Because we are getting into a situation now where sex is so common in society, you know we’ve got high street stores selling padded bikinis to 7 year olds, we’ve got Sheffield NHS Trust giving out leaflets to 11 year olds in schools which are entitled “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”, we have situations taking place in schools now in terms of… a teenage magazine last year ran an item on the sexual position of the week, for a magazine which is read predominantly by 13 year old girls.

“Society is so over-sexualised that I don’t think people realise that if we did empower this message into girls, imbued this message in schools, we’d probably have less sex abuse.”

Girls are abused because some men choose to abuse them. Girls are neither responsible for the sexual abuses perpetrated against them, nor are they responsible for ending the sexual abuses perpetrated against them.

The only ones responsible for either of those things are the men who choose to rape and abuse girls.

And yes, of course empowering girls to say no is important, but to imply that simply by saying no girls, and yes boys as well, could prevent sexual abuse, is not only naive and simplistic nonsense, but it’s also incredibly offensive to victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

The Rape Crisis National Freephone Helpline is open from 12-2.30pm & 7-9.30pm every day of the year: you can call them on 0808 802 9999.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    It’s so so so sad to hear these comments go relatively unchallenged … whatever happened to having a mixed panel of guests and why don’t feminist organisations ever get picked to be on panels – or aren’t they entitled to freedom of speech too … who says the British press isn’t censored – it does it itself!!

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