Lynn Ruane: ‘I felt liberated when I learnt to say no to sex’

Consent workshops are a way to instil in young people the power to just say no

‘If I had my way I would bring consent workshops into secondary schools as well, and instil in our youth only the power of saying ’no’.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘If I had my way I would bring consent workshops into secondary schools as well, and instil in our youth only the power of saying ’no’.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

It was 1998. I was 13 years old, Run DMC’s It’s Like That was No 1 in the charts, and I had just swapped the local kiddies disco for the bed of an older boy.

I didn’t have control of much in my life, but the one thing I did have I had just given away – my virginity.

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