The need for an explicit “yes” is front and centre of a new outdoor advertising campaign aimed at encouraging open discussion about sexual consent.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the second phase of the NSW Government’s successful #makenodoubt campaign is being rolled out as part of an overall strategy to tackle rising rates of sexual assault.
“Sexual assault is a heinous crime that can have a profound and long-lasting impact on victims, which is why we are supporting innovative early intervention programs to help change the conversation about consent,” Mr Speakman said.
“It is never okay to pressure or coerce someone into having sex, which is why you should always confirm that your partner is consenting. The absence of a ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘yes’.”
According to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the number of recorded sexual assaults rose from 4988 in 2014 to 5819 in 2018 in NSW – reflecting a 17 per cent increase.
“While this spike has in part been attributed to more reporting – and we certainly want victims to know they’ll be supported when taking that courageous step – the analysis is not definitive. That means tackling consent head-on is more important than ever,” Mr Speakman said.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the campaign sends a strong message that sexual consent should always be clear.
“We want people across the state to feel empowered to have a positive and open conversation about consent,’’ Mrs Taylor said.
“Good communication is at the heart of healthy relationships. It means taking responsibility so all parties freely and voluntarily agree.”
The second phase of the #makenodoubt campaign kicks off tomorrow and coincides with the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. It’s also one of the key initiatives of the Government’s NSW Sexual Assault Strategy.
The NSW Government is investing more than $200 million over four years to respond to victims and survivors of sexual assault.
For more information, go to www.women.nsw.gov.au/makenodoubt.
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