Young Australian women share their traumatic experiences of being assaulted as teenagers as they reveal not knowing what rape is held them back from reporting shocking crimes
- Carola Dixon was just 15-years-old when she was raped by a boy she knew
- Her best friend Chanel Contos was sexually assaulted when she was just 13
- The pair are now campaigning to change how Australia views consent
Young women who were raped as teenagers have spoken about their traumatic experiences and called for youngsters to be better educated about consent because they are failing to recognise what sexual assault is.
Carola Dixon, from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, was just 15-years-old when she was raped by a boy she knew at a house party she attended with a group of friends but did not realise at the time she was being sexually assaulted.
‘I thought that being raped meant that someone comes and forces you to do this thing and afterwards you’re sort of bleeding and you’re covered in bruises, you have to call the police and it’s in a dark alleyway,’ she told 60 Minutes on Sunday.
‘I didn’t know that rape could happen to me in an environment with someone that I knew.
Best friends Chanel Contos and Carola Dixon (pictured together) spoke to 60 Minutes on Sunday about how they were sexually assaulted when they were teenagers
‘I didn’t know that if I was unable to give my consent that that meant I had been raped. I thought that I had to be screaming and crying saying “no, no, stop”.’
Ms Dixon said the boy took her to a room when she fell unconscious after being encouraged to drink copious amounts of alcohol.
‘This boy was there and he was encouraging me a lot to drink throughout the night,’ she said.
‘And ultimately it ended up in me drinking too much and I fell unconscious. At which point he took me into a room and proceeded to rape me.’
Two of her best friends, including Chanel Contos, who has launched the Teach Us Consent petition, walked into the room to find Ms Dixon being raped, before the boy zipped up his pants and left.
‘Everyone from the party ran into the room to see what the commotion was,’ Ms Contos said.
Ms Dixon (pictured) was 15-years-old when she was raped by a boy she knew at a house party
Ms Contos (pictured) has launched a petition calling for the teaching of consent in schools
‘And one of the girls actually called us c**kblocks for stopping the boy from his sexual assault experience. And then me and Carola and our three friends we were with got booed out of the party.
‘Not a single one of us knew that that was sexual assault when we were that age. And if we don’t educate young people on what sexual assault is, obviously they don’t know they’re sexually assaulting someone. And there’s our problem.’
Ms Contos, now 23, was also sexually assaulted by a teenage boy – when she was just 13-years-old.
She said Australia needed to change how it viewed consent.
‘Consent is agreeing to something, saying yes I’m okay with this. We need to change it from no means no to only yes means yes. We need enthusiastic consent to be the norm,’ she said.
‘It’s not just educating school students, it is literally tipping Australia upside down and trying to awaken everyone to the realisation that we live in a rape culture and that what we’re ding right now isn’t good enough.’