Understanding sexual consent with Victim Support Yorkshire

Shannon from West Yorkshire Victim Support unit visited the Academy to speak to Year 10 students about relationships, social media, young people, consent and the law. Understanding the importance of these issues is vital to maintaining healthy relationships.

Shannon gave the students examples of how two people can see the same situation in two very different ways, explaining that even if you think someone is ‘suggesting’ something you should never act without explicit and verbal consent.

The students watched a video that used a cup of tea as an analogy for sexual consent. The video reasoned that you wouldn’t make a cup of tea for someone if they didn’t want it, and you definitely wouldn’t force them to drink it, neither would you pour it down their throat if they were unconscious. So, the video asked, why would you treat sexual consent any differently?

Shannon also took the chance to bust some myths surrounding sexual consent. She explained that about three quarters of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. She also explained that regardless of how drunk someone is, it is a crime to engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated by alcohol and drugs. The same rule applies to clothing, regardless of what someone is or isn’t wearing, engaging in activity without consent is a crime.

The students then learnt about the risks of ‘sexting’ and sending personal, sexual images or videos of themselves over messages or social media. Shannon encouraged to the students to think about the consequences of this action before sending anything, including the risk of bullying, blackmail and having no control over the images. She also advised students on what they can do if they had already shared images, directing them to the Victim Support website.

Shannon shared with the students what they could do if they feel like they are a victim of sexual assault, bullying or something related. Students can speak to one of our dedicated Child Protection Officers in the Academy, or a trusted Teacher.

If anyone wishes to speak to someone in confidence about this content, then please contact Victim Support on 0300 303 1971. 

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