SCOTTISH teenagers are taking action to prevent sexual violence.

And their efforts were hailed at an event in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, hosted by MSPs Malcolm Chisholm and Christina McKelvie.

In Lanarkshire, school pupils have been working to raise awareness of the media's sexualisation of young people.

In Edinburgh, young people have written and acted in four short films to show their peers sexual harassment, sexting, rape and sexual bullying among school children.

The teenagers worked with professional film-makers.

A third group, in the Highlands, are campaigning to tackle issues in their local communities, such as creating an eye-catching window display to get the public talking about street harassment.

Co-ordinated by Rape Crisis Scotland, as part of our programme to stop sexual violence before it starts, by working with young people to change attitudes.

Kathryn Dawson, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator with Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “With high levels of reported rape and significant numbers of young people affected, it's vitally important that we engage with young people on issues around consent, and learn from them about how best to support and educate them."

Rape Crisis Scotland, based in Glasgow, coordinates the national prevention programme, which employs a part-time prevention worker at each of 10 Rape Crisis centres around Scotland.

Prevention workers deliver sessions from the charity's Preventing Sexual Violence resource pack to young people in schools and youth groups aged 11 to 25.

Prevention workers also develop projects with young people to identify their own concerns around issues such as sexualisation, gender stereotyping and sexual harassment.

The Scottish Parliament event marked projects led by Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre's STAMP project and Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland's Stand Up! scheme.

Hannah Houston, 18, who took part in STAMP, said “In the past, I wouldn't have responded when I heard a sexist comment because I didn't have the knowledge to retaliate, but the education STAMP has provided me with is invaluable and has helped me gain confidence to challenge sexism in my own life.”

Mary Ellen McIntyre, 16, added: “Being a 16--year-old in 2015 means that almost everything I see, from music to television, shows a version of the world where rape and controlling behaviour towards your partner is OK.

"We need to stand up and speak out today, so that the 16-year-olds of tomorrow don't have the same problem.”