Consent & Sexual Violence Prevention

What is consent?

Consent is not something that you should ever forget, dismiss or take for granted. Consent is necessary for all sexual activity.

Consent to sexual acts is defined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and the key elements are that a person agrees to the act by choice… and has freedom to make that choice.

  • Consent is comfortable, active, retractable, chosen, and an ongoing conversation.
  • Consent is not assumed, pressured, expected, under the influence nor carried forward.
  • If you do not receive a clear ‘yes’ every time for every act, then it is not consent. It is that simple. There are no maybes, no blurred lines, and no compromises. You must have clear consent to sexually touch or penetrate somebody else.
  • When someone says ‘no’, that is not a tease. ‘No’ does not mean ‘maybe’. ‘No’ does not mean ‘later’. ‘No’ is not negotiable.

If you want more information about sexual consent look at Pause Play Stop and to test your understanding of what sexual consent means why not take their online quiz?

What is Warwick doing to tackle sexual violence?

Today, students across the world are a leading voice on issues of equality, diversity and liberation, and have the power to bring about real positive social change. Sexual violence and harassment are widespread problems that exist across society, and university campuses are no exception to that, including Warwick. Every single one of us has a responsibility to acknowledge this issue and take action to tackle it. Together, as a community, we must strive to make our campus and local area as safe and inclusive as possible.

Every member of the Warwick community has access to the online bystander intervention and consent education education module Consent Matters via Moodle. In 2016/17 Warwick SU ran a pilot programme delivering the academic Intervention Initiative module to self-selecting students in two departments, PAIS and Law. This academic year the Intervention Initiative module will be offered to all first-year PAIS undergraduates. Using a ‘bystander’ model, and utilising social norms theory, the programme is intended to change participants’ behaviour by unlearning passive assumptions about identity, violence, and one’s own power to influence the world around them. Ultimately, the programme is designed to increase the likelihood of an intervention by the participant, whether this is an intervention into a sexist chant or into a case of on-going domestic abuse of a friend, for example. 

Find out more information on the #WeGetConsent campaign page.