Campaign to dispel myths about consent
Police initiative aims to raise awareness and help prevent rape
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.
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. consentiseverything.com. South 01494