We’ve been given this talk so many times. Police officers have come to our school and addressed our whole school assemblies. In physical development and education classes, we’ve been educated about consent. But it’s still such an issue.
2015 is going to be over before we know it, and sexual assault still continues to be one of the most prevalent crimes against humanity. And people still don’t get it. It stuns me when I hear people commenting on rape cases saying, “oh she got what she deserved, the stupid slut” or when people come out and protest saying they were provoked into raping someone by their appearance or attitude.
It’s absolutely shocking. Sexual assault incidents rose by 19% between 2013-14 in Australia. Since the turn of the century, the number of sexual assault cases per month has been on a steady incline in Australia.
I don’t think there’s been a day where I’ve watched the news or read the daily newspaper without at least one article in reference to a new sexual assault case.
It shocks me.
There is one thing, one simple thing that I think needs to be drilled into every boy, girl, man and woman’s head: Consent. And this one word needs to be repeated through mandatory education programs that instil in us that engaging in sexual actions without consent from all parties involved is rape. It’s 2015, and yet I feel as if society still lives under a rock.
It makes me sick to know that people exist, who will laugh at videos like the one above because their egos are so hyper-inflated that they believe a little coercion, some nagging and sweet talking, a little dirty dancing, some grinding and the sneaky arse squeeze and promise of pleasure is enough to engage in intercourse. It makes me sick that people like that exist. And it does instil a shitload of fear in me. Because we live in such a progressive (for the most part) society, yet we can’t combat the issue of consent because certain people don’t get it.
I know for a fact, that I will teach my children, my nieces and my nephews, that wanting to pursue a sexual relationship with someone isn’t a sin or a crime, until the very moment you go further then your partner desires, and you don’t ask for consent.
Knowing that sexual assault and cases of rape are steadily increasing makes me fearful, but it also drives me to be part of an initiative that will combat every hardline asshole who thinks consent isn’t the first step. Because I don’t want to grow up in a world where I won’t be able to enjoy myself when I’m of age because of fear.
The fact that we’re in 2015 yet people still need to make videos and PSAs about consent shocks me. It isn’t science. Consent is a right.