Let’s Get Consensual campaign Douglas bound?

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

The anti-sexual violence movement sweeping the island

By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor

Let’s Get Consensual is an anti-sexual violence campaign that promotes healthy sexual relationships in post-secondary institutions.

The campaign, which is part of the Anti-Violence Project, has been being adopted by various post-secondary student unions throughout Vancouver Island, including the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. The campaign is soon being adopted by the Canadian Federation of Students-BC (CFS-BC). Given Douglas College’s close relationship to these student unions and membership in the CFS-BC, it could be speculated that the campaign may soon be mainland-bound.

Let’s Get Consensual started off as a video collaboration at UVic, where the campus, the student union, and the Anti-Violence Project published a video aimed at improving student knowledge about consent. In the video, students and faculty are asked to define sexual assault. From there, the video explains the six stages of consent: that there is mutual and verbal permission, that consent is enthusiastically given, that ensuring consent is the responsibility of the person initiating sex, that consent in maintained at every stage, that it is not pre-determined, and that it is not given while intoxicated.

It has been built upon by VIU. Inspired to provide a safer space for students, partially considering the long and delayed processes experienced by sexual assault victims at UBC, VIU decided to expand the campaign to include more consent education workshops on its campus, as well as to assemble a team to respond to reports of sexual assault.

The campaign also aims to expand the way the people think about consent. In an interview with VIU’s newspaper, The Navigator, the VIU’s Student Union Women’s Representative Connie Graham explained: “Central points of the campaign focus on what consent looks like. It can even be learning to say things like, ‘Hey, can I shake your hand?’ because some people don’t like being touched. It can be things we don’t often think about but still need consent for.”