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Lucy's experience

Lucy is a Year 10 student who loves football. Her school doesn't have a girls' team and she experiences abuse from the boys in her class.

In the future, Lucy can expect support from all of her peers to pursue her passion for sports.


  1. Lucy loves football and wants to play, but her school doesn’t have a girls’ team. When Lucy asks her sports teacher if she could set one up, he tells her to play netball instead.
  2. Lucy loves watching football and would love to consider a career in it, but she doesn’t see many high profile women in her sport, on or off the ground. The few women she does see discussing football in the media are not taken seriously, treated as purely decorative or are the subject of sexist and violent ‘jokes’. In Lucy’s mind, she will only ever be able to be a spectator.
  3. Lucy’s ex-boyfriend sends his friends some intimate photos of her. When the photos spread around the school, people blame Lucy for taking the photos in the first place. Lucy doesn’t report her ex-boyfriend to the school or the police because she’s ashamed, and holds herself responsible.
  4. The boys at school make suggestive comments about her and no one tells them to stop. Lucy chooses her clothes carefully because she knows the boys at school will make assumptions about her on the basis of what she’s wearing. Lucy often chooses not to wear things she really likes because she feels responsible for protecting herself from her male peers.

Lucy, a Year 10 student


  1. Lucy plays football at a local club. The girls’ team has equal access to the club’s coaches and facilities. Women are involved at all levels of the club leadership and administration. The club understands its responsibility to promote gender equality.
  2. Women and men are both visibly represented at all levels of football, in the media and in the community. There are clear pathways for young women to move from playing for local clubs into professional teams, with the same pay and conditions as men’s teams. Women and men are employed as officials and have high profile roles as media commentators. These high-profile women and men speak out against disrespect and gender inequality.
  3. Male and female students understand that sharing images without consent is a form of intimate partner violence. Male and female students understand that the blame rests only with the perpetrator. When incidents of violence like this occur, nobody questions the victim’s behaviour or experiences. The whole school community makes it clear that the perpetrator’s behaviour is not acceptable.
  4. Lucy and her peers at school have all learnt about respect, consent and equality. Male students are quick to pull each other up when they hear sexist jokes or discrimination. Teachers have had professional development on respectful relationships and know how to address sexism in the classroom. Parents have a clear understanding of the school’s core values and approach. Lucy feels part of an inclusive and equal school community.

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