Teens taught how to say ‘yes’ to sex
The NSW government has released a new sex education campaign that aims to teach young Australias how to recognise and give consent.
The #makenodoubt campaign features a group of university students talking about what they think consent means.
"Do you like this?", "keep going?" and "back to mine?" are just some of the different ways these young people are encouraged to start conversations about consent before sex.
The campaign, comprising of interviews, social media videos and posters, is part of the NSW government's Sexual Assault Strategy, which is a three-year approach to reducing sexual assault and holding offenders accountable.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said it is important that young Australians know how to properly ask for consent and recognise it when it is given.
"The #makenodoubt campaign is a positive way to raise awareness about the importance of seeking consent before having sex," Ms Goward said.
"Whether it is failure to seek consent, refusal to recognise when someone cannot give consent or ignoring that refusal, consent is at the heart of the continuum of sexual offending."
The advertisement features a group of students from the University of Technology Sydney showing the range of different ways people express consent in sexual situations.
This can be non-verbal signs like smiling, touching and eye contact to verbal confirmation like "I like that", "keep going" and "lets do it".
According to Frost*, the agency who helped make the campaign, a simple "yes" isn't good enough and people need to be able to recognise how body language and other verbal cues play a role in giving or not giving consent.
This is where the campaign slogan YES? + YES! = YES comes in, and aims to remove the grey areas of consent by turning into a conversation.
The first "YES?" relates to the act of asking for consent, the second "YES!" describes the other person giving consent, and the final "YES" is the outcome of having that conversation.
Young Australians are encouraged to understand that is okay to say yes or no and urged to make sure they have no doubt consent has been given before having sex.
The campaign aims to address the issue of accused sex offenders using excuses like saying the other person "froze" during the assault to claim they thought they were giving consent.
Ms Goward said education about consent is an important part in preventing future assaults.
"The impact of sexual assault can be profound and long-lasting," she said.
"It requires an integrated response that is not just focused on the crisis point of the system but also on early intervention and prevention."
#makenodoubt is the first stage of the NSW Government's commitment under the Strategy to use community education to address the role the bystander and community can play in identifying sexual offending and speaking out.
The NSW Government is investing more than $200 million over four years to respond to victims and survivors of sexual assault.
The NSW Law Reform Commission is currently reviewing the NSW Crimes Amendment (Consent - sexual assault offences) to determine if the law needs to be amended to protect victims better.