Questions students ask

What should you do if you know someone is being bullied online?

If someone is being bullied online, the first action to take is not to join in!  Don’t comment on posts or images because it can hurt other people. Leave negative groups or conversations where the bullying may be occurring.

Bullying should be reported to someone who can help such as a parent or teacher. If you feel safe to do so, you can ask the person to stop their bullying behaviour. This is often easier to do if you are not the person being bullied. If you see someone else being bullied, be an ethical bystander (sometimes called 'upstander') by calling out the bullying behaviour and telling a trusted adult. 

Make sure that the person being bullied knows they have support and are not alone. Giving support can sometimes make a big difference to someone. Nobody deserves to be bullied.

More information can be found on the website.

When is an image classed as being sexually explicit?

Knowing when an image is defined as being sexually explicit is not a clear cut matter. Some representations are obviously sexually explicit; for example pictures of sexual activity or of a naked person displaying their genitals, buttocks or breasts. An image leaving little to the imagination can generally be defined as sexually explicit!

However there are varying ideas about what is considered to be sexual and what images are sexually arousing. It is therefore important that young people know not to send images to anyone who is not trustworthy. Even when someone is thought to be trusted, there is still a risk that it could be shared without consent. A good rule of thumb is - if a young person wouldn’t want their parents to see it, they should think about not sending it.

See the website for more information.

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When is the right age to be in a sexual relationship?

In Western Australia, the legal age for consent to sexual activity is 16 years and older. This does not mean that young people have to start sexual relationships at this age and it is important to remember that it is possible to be in a romantic relationship without engaging in sexual activities.

Family values, culture, religion and personal beliefs can all play a part in deciding what the right age is to have a sexual relationship.
Everyone is different and it is important for young people to have their own personal list of considerations when they are working out if they are ready to begin having sex.

Some considerations for young people:

  • Am I over 16? Is my partner over 16?

  • Do I want to have sex? Have I said so?

  • Am I sure the other person wants to have sex with me? Have I asked them?

  • Does this feel right?

  • Have I pressured my partner to ‘give in’? Has my partner pressured me?

  • Do I feel pressured by anything or anyone else?

  • Am I doing it to gain acceptance from my friends?

  • Is anyone coercing me? Is anyone forcing me?

  • Am I doing it just to keep my partner?

  • Am I doing it because everyone else is?

  • Do we both want it for ourselves, not just to please the other person?

  • Do we care for each other and agree that we want to take this next step?

  • Do I respect my partner? Does my partner respect me?

  • Do I understand how to get consent? Do I know how to communicate my consent?

  • Do I feel comfortable with the person I want to have sex with?

  • Do I feel I could stop at any point, and that would be OK?

  • Do I have any anxieties or fears?

  • How will feel about this decision tomorrow?

  • Do I know how to prevent a pregnancy?

  • Do I know how to get contraception and which one is best for me? Have I discussed contraception with my partner?

  • What would I do if my partner and I got pregnant?

  • Do I know to protect myself and my partner from getting an STI? Do I have condoms and know how to use them?

  • Do I know how to get an STI test? 

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Where can I find more information on sexual health?

The Get the Facts website provides advice and accurate information on relationships and safer sex to young people in WA.

The site includes information pages, animations, games, true stories, and your questions can be answered confidentially by a health professional. 

Why is it important to have good privacy settings on social media?

Using social networking and social media sites are easy ways to chat on-line, make new friends and keep in touch. However, there are some risks with meeting people online if you don’t already know them or haven’t met them in person. 

When talking and sharing thoughts and information online with people you don’t know or trust, keep in mind that you may be accidentally sharing information that can help someone identify where you live or passwords you use. For example, you may share a picture that has your sibling in the background in their school uniform. It is also important to remember that once a message, photo or video is shared, there is little control over where it can go. Good privacy settings help ensure that you have control over who you ‘friend’ and the information that is shared with your 'friends'. 

Not sharing passwords, setting your profile to private and not accepting friend requests from random people are good standard practices.

See the website for more information.

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Why is only a single dose of the HPV vaccine now required?

From 6 February 2023, healthy young people aged 12-13 years will only need one dose of the Gardasil®9 vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated. Gardasil®9 protects against 9 strains of the HPV virus.

This change follows the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice that a single dose gives excellent protection that is comparable to protection from two doses.

Healthy young people who receive a single dose before 26 years of age will not need further doses.

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