Chanel Contos is an Australian student and sexual consent activist. She became known globally in 2021, following the responses to her request for young Australian women to report on their sexual assault experiences.
Chanel instigated an Instagram poll asking for stories from young Australian women who had been sexually assaulted. After an outpouring of responses, she started the website ‘Teach Us Consent’, which hosted a separate online petition to ask for sexual consent education in Australian schools. She collected thousands of testimonies of alleged sexual assault and violence, this number is still climbing, and the reality is that almost one million Australian women have experienced sexual assault perpetrated by a male in the last 10 years.
Chanel believes that we need to teach what rape culture is; we need to teach what toxic masculinity is, what slut shaming is, and that victim blaming is not acceptable. After collecting over 44,000 signatures, more than 6,700 testimonies of sexual assault, and leading countless hours of volunteer work and support, Chanel’s mission was accomplished. Ministers of Education around Australia have agreed to mandate holistic and age appropriate consent education every year, in every school from kindergarten until Year 10 from 2023.