Campaign focuses on sexual violence
A new youth-based campaign against sexual violence aims to empower teens to spot the signs that someone is at risk and ‘‘speak up’’ about consent.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett launched the $250,000 social media campaign, Are You That Someone – Let’s Stop Sexual Violence, at Grey Lynn’s Rape Prevention Education centre on June 13.
The six-week campaign will focus on teaching youth the true meaning of sexual consent and that sexual violence can also include groping and grabbing as well as rape.
Almost one in three women and one in 10 men in New Zealand will be victims of a sexual assault at some point in their lives.
Bennett says to tackle the appalling rate of sexual violence in this country we have to change some aspects of our culture.
‘‘The public debate last year about the alleged activities of the Roast Busters group has highlighted confusion around what’s appropriate and what crosses the line into sexual violence and how to respond.’’
The campaign will use social media to share advice and information and encourage people to think and talk about preventing sexual violence, she says.
‘‘That means recognising when someone’s too wasted to give consent to sex and speaking up on their behalf and checking in with your mates to see if they’re OK with the attention they’re getting.’’
The campaign will run until late July and will be centred on a series of visual images showing a person at risk of sexual violence and suggesting how someone could step in.
It was developed with the help of Rape Prevention Education executive director Dr Kim McGregor. ‘‘We are absolutely delighted the Government has come on board to support a national sexual violence prevention campaign,’’ she says.
‘‘We have been waiting for this for almost nine years – it is absolutely needed and is a huge boost to us.’’
Grey Lynn DJ Richie Hardcore, who helped with the campaign, says New Zealand has a culture of silence around the topic of consent.
‘‘It’s just not discussed, we’ve got these very Victorian attitudes towards sex but the reality is it’s everywhere – on our phones, the internet, in commercials and music.’’
The Government announced it would allocate $10.4 million to sexual violence services in the next two years in the 2014 Budget.
Speak up: A new campaign is encouraging young people to identify the signs that someone might be at risk of sexual violence and to call out peers on inappropriate behaviour.