Dagenham teens campaign to stop rape culture

Francisca Akyirem, Morgan Hewitt, Lucy Chesney, Summer Calverley and Hollie Ross with some of the po

Francisca Akyirem, Morgan Hewitt, Lucy Chesney, Summer Calverley and Hollie Ross with some of the posters they created as part of their campaign - Credit: Archant

Did you know that if a woman is raped in Afghanistan, she would be the one to go to prison for committing adultery and seducing a man?

And were you aware that in some countries women can be attacked and beaten just for bearing their ankles or wearing perfume?

These are just some of the shocking facts that have prompted five students from Jo Richardson Community School to launch an awareness-raising campaign.

The Dagenham pupils were so outraged at what they learnt during their citizenship lessons and research that they’ve done all they can to put a stop to some of the horrific practices.

Francisca Akyirem, Morgan Hewitt, Lucy Chesney, Summer Calverley, all 15, and Hollie Ross, 16, started a petition as part of their GCSE citizenship coursework.

They’ve also posted pictures on their Instagram pages, wrote letters to the media and designed posters to put up around school.

Francisca says choosing the topic of rape culture was the group’s immediate first choice.

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“We are mainly all girls and what with Twitter and Tumblr and having seen and heard shocking stuff from the news, we all felt strongly about the issue,” she explained. “We felt like it was important.”

Although the group have completed their coursework, Francisca says they plan to continue campaigning.

“We will still keep posting stuff on the internet and next year when we are at different colleges and sixth forms we can get more people on board and hopefully make it more of a talking point,” she said.

Norhan Nabeeh, who teaches citizenship and RE at the school, praised the group for campaigning “not just in the school community but in the bigger community as well”.

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