Consent

Sex. It's great if it's between consenting adults, but a potential source of trauma if it's not. Your students' union is dedicated to working towards a culture where no one should be the object of unwanted sexual advances, which is why we work with the university to offer training in consent and bystander intervention

 

What's consent all about?

 



There's a whole spectrum of behaviours from unwanted touching to rape that are totally unacceptable. Grabbing someone on a night out might seem like a bit of harmless fun - but it's actually groping. That's not only socially unacceptable but also against the law. And having sex with someone against their will is rape, plain and simple. Nagging, guilt-tripping or threatening someone into sex is coercion and is also wrong. It's not consent if you've bullied someone into it.

So make sure the person you're with is up for it too, and is capable of making an informed decision - for instance, if they're drunk or on drugs they're not capable of giving meaningful consent.

It goes without saying that most students have sex - if you are, make sure it's consensual, and be safe! The NHS offers some useful advice on safe sex aimed directly at students, and there are free condoms available from the students' union Welcome Desk in Bowland College.

Learn more about sexual consent at pauseplaystop.org.uk and test your understanding with the quiz. There's also loads more information in this booklet produced by the Lancaster University Feminist Society.

 

Victim blaming

The only people to blame for rape are rapists. Rape isn't caused by victims being drunk or high. It isn't caused by victims being dressed in a certain way. Remember that.

 

Against lad culture

As a students' union, we have policy aimed at driving out lad culture. That means rude chants, initiation ceremonies and sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic 'banter' are not welcome. And it also means that we expect everyone to respect others' boundaries when it comes to sex. Pinching someone's bum isn't just a bit of fun - it's an invasion of space and is sexual assault. For more information about sexual consent, visit the NUS 'I Heart Consent' campaign at iheartconsent.tumblr.com/ or go to www.drinkaware.co.uk/wouldnt-shouldnt