Cam­paign fo­cuses on sex­ual vi­o­lence

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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