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Paving the way to a culture of consent

Image: I heart consent.The SAAM blog is back from a short hiatus! Although we’ve been busy behind the scenes, and I look forward to sharing more updates about plans for SAAM in the future. For now, the goal is just to get back into a rhythm of posting on the ways individuals and communities are being the change to end sexual violence. These new resources on consent are a great example. 

Consent is a hot topic. 

What I really love is how the conversation on consent has really grown to be a fuller discussion of healthy sexuality and the many ways there are of expressing boundaries and desires. It’s starting to catch-on that consent is more than a question or contract. It’s not just for college students or sexually active folks. Consent is a universal right: your body, limits and boundaries are yours. Regardless of age / ability / race/ gender / identity. In a culture of consent these limits and boundaries are communicated and respected. Yes means yes.   

 

What is consent?

Consent is voluntary and mutual. When sex (or any activity) is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Consent is a necessary life skill. It’s a skill not everyone has learned, practiced or experienced. 

Learn the basics. 

In partnership with the It’s On Us Campaign, we’ve created a clear and comprehensive guide to consent. This is a great place to start for learning the basic principles of consent. There are even questions for reflections and discussion to start some critical conversations. 

Consent in action

The latest and greatest tools we are excited to share are from our partners at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). They just released a series of videos to educate young people about consent. These videos model skills we all need to communicate and negotiate in relationships.

These resources answer four key questions: 

·    “How do you know if someone wants to have sex with you?” – an overview of what consent is (and isn't)
·    “When you know they’re into it” – this video shows what enthusiastic consent looks like
·    “When they’re kinda into it” – this video shows what it looks like to stop and check in to get clarity on consent
·    “When they’re just not into it” – the last video shows what it looks like to respectfully hear a "no"

You can view all four videos at bit.ly/Consent101

Spread the word

These videos aren’t just for the sheer enjoyment of healthy sexuality. These clips are created to be tools for learning and sharing. Sharing is an essential step, and in order to create a culture of consent and respect we need to spread the word

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