SINCE the Harvey Weinstein allegations first broke, the greatest bastions of the western world have been engulfed in sex scandals as one by one, women victims of sexual harassment have summoned up the courage to go public on what has been lurking just under our noses for decades. Whether in Hollywood, Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, the music industry, the judiciary and countless other ordinary workplaces across the country, it is no longer possible to ignore the male abuse of power that is stitched into the very fabric of our society.

It should come as no surprise that the situation is every bit as shocking in our schools. As we report today, teenage girls are routinely groped, verbally harassed and subjected to a barrage of behaviour that traumatises and degrades them.

For the first time, though, we have been offered a glimpse of how to create a better future, not only for today's young people but those that come behind them. By stamping out sexism at school, and educating even the very youngest children about equality and consent, we can break the cycle, and teach boys about acceptable behaviour and girls about what they should and should not accept.

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The Equally Safe at School pilot run by Rape Crisis and Zero Tolerance – and taken up for a few forward thinking schools in Scotland – offers a chance to tackle sexism at the earliest stage. We can only hope that the next generation will learn the lessons we failed to heed and create a world free from the misogyny that both harms and shames us all.