The World Starts With Me

Love shouldn't Hurt

Learning Objectives

This lesson deals with a difficult and sensitive issue: sexual harassment and abuse. It is a difficult issue because forced sex occurs in many ways that may be very complex. It is sensitive because many girls and also boys have had similar bad experiences. We will be touching on subjects that students might find very hard to discuss.

This lesson aims to teach students about the situations in which harassment and abuse may occur, to explore some of the myths people have regarding the pressures on them to have sex and to teach students skills for coping with difficult situations.

The presentation advocates for young people to prevent and avoid harassment and abuse and not to be a perpetrator of harassment, abuse or violence.


  • Students agree that sex should either be voluntary or should not take place at all
  • Students learn some ways to avoid the dangers of abuse
  • Students explore some myths
  • Students feel sympathy for victims of sexual abuse

 Learning Objectives



  • describe what unwanted sex, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and rape is, as well as their consequences and state that sexual harassment and abuse are a crime
  • explain that girls or women generally are, but boys and men also can be, victims of sexual harassment and abuse
  • list some features of someone who could possibly force you to have sex, some risky situations and three signs of a situation that could become risky
  • explain that most rapists are usually not strangers but people known to the victim
  • list three risky situations and three defence tips to escape risky situations
  • explain that accepting gifts, money and services from someone and using alcohol or drugs are co-factors involved in sexual abuse and rape
  • correct myths concerning rape, emphasizing that victims are never to blame
  • list three ways that can help them to avoid sexual abuse
  • explain what to do if someone has been harassed, abused or raped and where someone who has been harassed, abused or raped, can find help
  • describe three ways in which a sexual partner can pressurize them into having sex and list three tactics of people who sexually abuse young people 


  • show respect for the physical and mental integrity of themselves and other people
  • show they are convinced that sexual harassment, forced sex or violence, sexual abuse and rape are violations of human rights
  • show they are convinced that someone who loves them would never pressurize them into doing something they do not want or that is wrong for them, including giving or expecting gifts in exchange for sex
  • show they are convinced that a victim of sexual harassment or abuse is never to blame
  • show they are convinced of the need for support and help if someone has been harassed, abused or raped
  • trust their own judgement and intuition in case of a risky situation
  • show empathy with people who have been abused or violated


  • provide a scenario for finding support in the case of harassment, abuse and rape
  • provide a scenario for communicating their limits in the matter of sexuality to someone they are dating
  • explain step by step how to refuse someone who is pressurizing them into having sex
  • provide a scenario for what to do when they find themselves in a risky situation
  • demonstrate three ways of defending and protecting themselves physically when in a rape situation

Computer, design and creative skills

  • express their own opinion
  • write an attractive, powerful text in MS Word
  • select and include relevant photos or pictures in MS Word



Lesson Outline


1. Don't stand so close to me (5 mins)
2. Love shouldn't Hurt - Presentation (30 mins)
3. Refusal and protection skills (20 mins)
4. My opinion! (30 mins)
5. Conclusion and homework (5 mins)



Ask a few students to tell something about their reflection activities from the previous lesson.



Warming Up

Don't stand so close to me (5 mins)


  • Students get a sense of their personal space and when it is being violated by proximity


  • Simple exercise in which students stand alone in the space available and draw an imaginary circle around themselves. Students take turns getting increasingly closer to one another and experiencing when this is too close and when it feels OK.




Presentation, Love shouldn't Hurt (30 mins)


  • To give the students information and attitudes about sexual abuse


The students read the presentation.The students should address some discussion points included in the presentation together before continuing.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • what is forced sex?
  • when does forced sex occur?
  • by whom?
  • boyfriends and girlfriends
  • adults, sugar daddies
  • the difference between harassment, abuse and rape
  • abusers' tactics
  • how to avoid abuse
  • clear dating code
  • how to say NO
  • physical tips for dangerous situations
  • myths about rape
  • what to do in the case of rape
  • effects on the rape victim

The presentation advocates for young people to prevent and avoid harassment and abuse and not to be a perpetrator of abuse or violence.



Discuss the main points of the presentation with the students. Be alert to victims of sexual harassment and abuse and offer them support if needed.


Refusal skills and protection skills (20 mins)


  • Students practice refusal skills: how to say 'NO'


Step 1
Students remind themselves of the refusal skills (saying NO) from the presentation.

Step 2
In pairs, students practice refusal skills with each other. Each pair can roleplay a boy and a girl on a date, one of them pressurizing the other into sex. This may involve either the boy or the girl being the one who pressurizes. Each student should practice saying NO.

A few volunteer students can perform their refusal skills before the group. Ask the group to say if these are convincing and why or why not. This will help students to clarify how to say NO well.

Step 4
Students look at the list of techniques how to escape if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.



My opinion! (30 mins)


  • For students to realize the weight of the subject they are dealing with by formulating some of their thoughts on the subject


All students write down a very short story or an opinion in Word on how they feel about sexual harassment and abuse. They write down what they have learned, what they think is the main point of the issue and what they think can be done about it.

Stories or opinions should be about one half of an A4 page. <See Examples>



Conclusion and homework (5 mins)
Round off the lesson, reminding students that sexual abuse and sexual harassment are serious issues that can affect all of us severely. Advise students that, if they know someone who is experiencing or has experienced harassment, to advise him/her to look for help.

Give students the assignment to write down in their notebooks when and how they say NO in different situations over the next few days until the next lesson.


Tools, Games & Materials

Love shouldn't Hurt - Presentation



Refusal Skills - How to say NO
If someone is pressurizing you, it is very important that you are able to say NO in a clear and strong way.
These are the four steps in saying NO.

Step 1

  • Say NO quietly and clearly with appropriate non-verbal language.

Step 2

If your NO is not accepted, repeat you refusal in a strong and loud tone of voice:

  • don't leave any doubt that you mean NO when you say NO
  • look your partner straight in the eye
  • do not smile or look away shyly
  • do not give your partner the impression that you need to be convinced or coaxed

Step 3

  • If your NO is still not being accepted, leave the situation immediately

Step 4

  • If this person refuses to allow you to leave, scream or use force



Physical tips for dangerous situations

  • If rape is common in your area, carry a mixture of sand and pepper to throw into your attacker's eyes
  • Yell and scream for help loudly and continuously
  • Use your fingers and fingernails. Stab the offender as hard as you can into his/her eyes. Do not worry about hurting him/her: he/she means to hurt you!
  • Use your knee to give a hard kick in the attacker's private parts. If you kick hard enough, this will hurt him/her a lot, causing him/her to double up with pain
  • If the person is on top of you, holding you face-down to the ground, use your heel to kick him/her into the bones of the lower back, just at the top of the buttocks
  • If you are being overpowered, relax and try to fool the attacker into carelessness. Then stab the eyes or hit the groin.Run away when the rapist pauses due to pain



Girls have rights too
How often do we read in the newspaper about girls who have been infected with HIV/AIDS because they were pressurized into sex by more powerful, older or rich men? Or girls who were abused by their uncles because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?
What is wrong with this country? Girls have the right to say NO to men and boys. If they say NO it means NO, even if they are shy or soft-spoken.

Girls are being taught to be shy and to please boys and men. But there is no reason for this. Ethiopia signed the Human Rights Treaty and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read these and you will discover that women and girls are being badly threatened so often, although we are used to this practice. Nobody can force a girl into doing anything she doesn't want. Not even when you are nice, respectable, powerful or rich. Help our girls and women to stand up for their rights. We are all in this together, whether you are male or female, young or old.

Tsedale Tamrat, 18 years old, Jimma

Stop the pressure!
You know what the problem is when it comes to negative sexual experiences? We push each other too hard into having sex. Boys keep telling each other that it is their right to have sex with a girl they are going out with, especially when she isn't a virgin anymore. We keep teasing the ones among us who haven't done it yet. We keep writing letters to the girls to seduce and pressurize them into having sex with us.

Now look at the results: girls get forced into sexual intercourse. Their lives are spoiled because they can never be fully intimate without feeling bad. I'm a 16-year-boy and I promise all of you: I will never pressurize boys or girls into having sex anymore. Stop pressurizing each other: only make love if you both want to! Better wait a while than to spoil your feelings. This is a call to all of you, youngsters and adults.

Bereket Tsegaye, 16 years old, Addis Ababa


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