Sexual health and relationships in younger women project

This project aims to explore the issues and gaps for younger ACT women aged 14-19 about their sexual and reproductive health, and about healthy relationships. WCHM has been having conversations with service providers who are working with younger women in order to identify and understand the issues and to explore how to improve responses and information in the ACT.  Some younger women have also provided input through WCHM’s the sexual and reproductive health research.

Some key issues highlighted so far include the lack of understanding about their sexual and reproductive health (including STIs and contraception options), misconceptions about consent and coercion and what healthy relationships look like or don’t look like, the impact of technology and porn, the difficulty in finding reputable and trusted websites and legitimate sources of information, and how to respond as a bystander.

These conversations and information about current approaches will inform our view on what resources and methods might be needed in the ACT to engage younger women and to provide relevant, up-to-date and trustworthy information.

This project complements some of the findings from the sexual and reproductive health research we are conducting as well as issues about sexual violence which are covered in WCHM’s What To Say website – http://www.whattosay.org.au/. A range of national evidence also supports the initial findings from this local ACT research.