Consent must be given freely, willingly and enthusiastically. You can also think of the FRIES graphic – consent is Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific.

No matter whether it was holding hands, kissing, or sexual – it shouldn’t have happened if you did not give consent.

If your situation was sexual - it doesn’t matter if you have had sex with the person before, it doesn’t matter what your relationship is – if you say no at any point and the other person does not stop then it is sexual assault. It is normal after this has happened to have lots of confusing feelings, including feeling of enjoyment.

Trust yourself, you haven’t done anything wrong.

If someone has assaulted you, you may not feel confident about what to do next. Trust your instincts. Remember that it’s never okay for someone to assault you for any reason.

Find someone you feel you can talk to about it, such as a friend, family member, counsellor, school nurse or youth worker. In Cairns we have True Child & Family Service – 4281 6893, at 216 Draper St Parramatta Park who provide counselling and support. You can also call Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or 1800RESPECT at any time or use their webchat.

Have a look at this post on our website for more info -

Good question! Both bullying and harassment are unwelcome and inappropriate behaviors that make people feel unsafe due to an imbalance of power. Both bullying and harassment are incredibly hard to stop due to this cycle of power, so it’s important the victim is supported either by peers or adults.

Harassment is defined as a single action whereas bullying is defined as being a repeated behaviour. Both should be reported immediately to avoid serious impacts and consequences.

Every friendship and relationship has rights and responsibilities. According to the United Nation Declaration of Child Rights, every young person has the right to be respected. Even though we are all different and opinions on interests, lifestyles, and beliefs may not be the same in every friendship, we have a responsibility to demonstrate respect so that young people are kept safe, feel accepted, and have a sense of belonging.


A healthy friendship can communicate differences respectfully and have mutual understandings of boundaries so that everyone feels safe and accepted. Learning to navigate and understand respect in our teenage years can help you have respectful and meaningful friendships and relationships for the rest of your life!

We can understand how news like that could come as a bit of a shock!  Without knowing him, or the details of the conversation, it is hard to know for certain exactly what he meant.  However in general, it might be helpful to understand that a person’s sexuality and sexual preference are quite different to their gender identity.  A person’s gender identity is a deeply held feeling about their masculinity or femininity, that may not fit with the sex they were born with.  For example, a person might be born and raised as a boy, but realise that they don’t feel like a boy at all and they identify as a girl.  This is purely how the person feels within themselves and has nothing to do with their sexuality.  So it is possible that your boyfriend is letting you know that he identifies as female but is attracted to females, so he says he is a lesbian – in which case we should be calling him ‘she’ to respect his gender identity.  This is all quite a lot for you both to get your heads around, so if this is the case, we recommend getting some advice and support – Headspace for example has some face to face as well as online groups for people of diverse genders and sexualities, as well as their friends and family. Kids Helpline is another option for someone just to talk through how you are both feeling – 1800 55 1800