Zara McDermott says primary school children should be taught about consent.
The former Love Island star on the Good Morning Britain on Friday discussed her new BBC Three documentary in which she recalls her own terrifying experience of sexual assault as a teen.
She revealed her own encounter of sexual assault experience when she was attacked by a ‘schoolboy’ around the age of 15.
The documentary also sees Zara speak to young women and girls about their experience of rape culture and finding out what action was taken by their schools while their cases were reported and being investigated.
Speaking to hosts Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins, Zara revealed that one schoolboy admitted to her that he had watched pornography for the first time at the age of four.
“We need to start talking about consent in primary school I think,” Zara told the hosts, and Ben replied: “That early? Because there will be people watching this morning going, ‘I don’t want my primary age children being exposed to these things’.”
Zara responded: “But if they’re being allowed on the internet, which a lot of students are in primary school, then who knows what they can be exposed to”.
“We have to start having these conversations young, unfortunately, it’s the world we live in now.”
Speaking about teenagers having access to porn, Zara continued: “It’s a really, really huge issue and there’s no age verification on these sites.
“I think that because we have swept this behaviour, in a lot of schools the behaviour hasn’t been called out by peers, potentially the schools haven’t really known how to deal with it it has become so engrained.
“Even when I was in school it was the norm, it was the done thing, but actually what are we telling our young people about what is right?
She revealed her own encounter a sexual assault experience when she was attacked by a ‘schoolboy’ around the age of 15.
The former Love Island star was suspended from her secondary school after intimate photos which she sent a peer went ‘viral’ in her community’, an experience she said “tainted” her teenage years.
Then again pictures she sent to her ex-boyfriend were also circulated among others, but this time, on a larger scale when she was appearing on Love Island.
Zara said “I was in a relationship and we broke up and he forwarded images onto his phone. I think his friends remembered that they had those images of me and circulated them to their friends. They went worldwide.”
According to Zara, “This assault that happened to me, it’s hard to say that it was assault.
“I think that’s just me not allowing myself to say it because I got away very much unscathed – and I’m so conscious that so many other women haven’t had that,” she said.