Trigger warning, sexual assault Consent is something that is very important to me, having launched the 'EHSU <3 Consent' campaign at my Union when I was Vice President, and so when I heard of the #ConsentIs campaign, I knew I wanted to be involved - the fact that the lady I spoke to was a volunteer at the Peterborough centre (my home town!) felt like fate.
Those of you who went to Uni with me are probably bored of hearing me talking about consent, but I do think it needs talking about, so I'm not sorry. In my first year of university I was sexually assaulted in my halls. I was so shocked and upset, I felt that it must have been my 'fault' and so I tried to ignore it and didn't acknowledge that it 100% was not okay, until a few years later. If I had been properly educated on consent, I would have known that and perhaps would have felt justified to go to the police when it happened. This spurred my passion for the Consent Campaign, as I didn't want any students to go through the same thing.
For me, it's not about blaming or shaming, it's about education and empowerment (that's quite catchy isn't it?!). It's about teaching everyone about what constitutes consent and making them feel confident to not give, or withdraw consent at any time. It also helps to educate individuals who may not even realise what they're doing would be seen as illegal in a court of law.
#ConsentIs needed every time, by every person involved, regardless of gender
#ConsentIs not valid if a partner is drunk, unconscious or coerced into it
#ConsentIs never assumed. It doesn't matter if you've been married 20 years or they wanted to do it earlier in the day, it doesn't matter.
#ConsentIs the only way.
This is a video made by the Crown Prosecution Service, what do you think?
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this post, please feel free to contact me confidentially through my Contact Form.