Cam­paign to dis­pel myths about con­sent

Po­lice ini­tia­tive aims to raise aware­ness and help pre­vent rape

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

The force’s #Con­sen­tis Every­thing cam­paign shines a light on sex­ual con­sent and the re­spon­si­bil­ity to get con­sent, rather than as­sume it has been given.

It aims to bet­ter ed­u­cate peo­ple about gain­ing sex­ual con­sent and comes as part of on­go­ing work by the Thames Val­ley Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Group made up of Ox­ford­shire Sex­ual Abuse and Rape Cri­sis Cen­tre, Rape Cri­sis (Wy­combe, Chiltern and South Buck­ing­hamshire), Ox­ford Univer­sity Stu­dent Union and Thames Val­ley Po­lice.

De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Justin Fletcher, from Thames Val­ley Po­lice, said: “The law’s very clear. Sex with­out con­sent is rape.

“It’s the re­spon­si­bil­ity of in­di­vid­u­als to make sure they have con­sent through­out sex. True con­sent can only be given freely by some­one with the ca­pac­ity to make a de­ci­sion. To have sex with some­one who’s un­able to give con­sent, or is agree­ing un­der co­er­cion, is to have sex with­out their con­sent.

“The cam­paign’s just one of the ways in which Thames Val­ley Po­lice has been work­ing with our part­ners within Thames Val­ley Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Group to sup­port peo­ple af­fected by sex­ual as­sault and rape. Vic­tims can have con­fi­dence in re­port­ing to po­lice. We’ll lis­ten and they’ll be be­lieved.

“Aware­ness of

what sex­ual con­sent means and how to get it is vi­tal.

“To­gether we can pre­vent rape by en­sur­ing ev­ery­one knows when they have sex­ual con­sent – and when they don’t.”

Christina Dia­man­dopou­los, co-di­rec­tor of Rape Cri­sis (Wy­combe, Chiltern and South Buck­ing­hamshire), said: “For too long there have been myths around the sub­ject of con­sent, par­tic­u­larly that it’s a ‘grey’ area. Con­fu­sion around con­sent has been the re­sult of his­tor­i­cal dis­tor­tions. In re­al­ity it’s never been a ‘grey’ area, and this cam­paign, which we’re proud to be part of, makes that clear.”

On­go­ing preven­tion work in­cludes ed­u­ca­tion work­shops for stu­dents.

Sup­port is avail­able for those who have ex­pe­ri­enced sex­ual abuse and rape from:

Rape Cri­sis (Wy­combe, Chiltern and Buck­ing­hamshire) 462 222.

Ayles­bury Vale Cri­sis 01296 392 468.

Trust House Read­ing 0118 958 4033. Refuge 0800 221 8186.

Thames Val­ley Po­lice 101. In an emer­gency dial 999.

Join the cam­paign on so­cial me­dia us­ing #Con­sen­tisEvery­thing and or visit www. con­sen­tisevery­ South 01494


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