The World Starts With Me

Love shouldn't Hurt

Today's Lesson

This lesson is about a very sensitive issue: forced sex, sexual harassment and abuse. We will even talk about rape. It is sensitive because some of you might have been confronted with bad experiences. People find it very difficult to discuss these issues.

In this lesson, you will be taught about the situations in which harassment and abuse occur. We will explore some of the myths people have. You will practice skills for dealing with difficult situations. The theme is Love shouldn't hurt. Please be sensitive to other people in this lesson as it might be affecting them.

Todays Program

Don't stand so close to me (5 mins)
Love shouldn't Hurt - Presentation (30 mins)
Refusal and protection skills (20 mins)
My opinion! (30 mins)
Conclusion and homework (5 mins)
Tools, Games & Materials

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
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4

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

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.

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


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
Examples of this Lesson

Love shouldn't Hurt - My Opinion!

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.

Gelane Fikru, 18 years old, Hawassa

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.

Buli Dahdi, 16 years old, Jinja

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