Our friends at Active*Consent recently launched a new resource so we can all learn about consent, and the team wrote an article, just for our Shona Community, to fill us in! So read on, every day is a learning day!..
Consent culture is becoming a fast reality in Ireland, and to help develop it even more, the team at Active*Consent has produced a new resource that makes it even easier to access inclusive information on consent. Check out consenthub.ie and find out about the different ways that we can all learn about consent.
We all know that consent education in third-level colleges is basically too late, and once we were generously funded by the Lifes2Good foundation in 2019, the Active* Consent team grew and was able to apply our process of exploring needs and perspectives to work with school children, their teachers and parents, and work together to create resources. Coming from a sex-positive perspective the objective is to support young people to develop emotionally and physically healthy adult sexuality.
Now we have an Active* Consent school workshop, teacher training, and a parenting webinar to support conversations at school and at home, as part of the school resources being rolled out in over 100 schools across the country. Other parts of the schools programme include a filmed drama, Sex on our Screens (an eLearning resource) and support for school staff and parents, all based on data from our surveys with TY, 5th year pupils and parents, these new resources are being piloted across the country.
Why is it important to educate people about consent in lots of different ways?
People get messages about sex and consent in different ways – from their families, friends, education, and the culture they were raised in, as well as via pop culture and mass media.
It is important that information on consent is delivered in creative and dynamic ways so it engages and is relevant to as many people as possible. When it comes to raising awareness and sharing useful skills in relation to becoming intimate with others, it’s clear people access information in lots of different ways – reading, watching visual media (films, TV, podcasts and short videos) or even through participating in a workshop.
On Consenthub.ie, you can find a diverse range of resources specifically designed for young people – both under and over 17 (which is the legal age of consent to sex activity in the Republic of Ireland) as well as educators and caregivers.
These resources include:
- Frequently asked questions about consent
- All the Irish laws around consent and sexual violence – an ever increasing number of statutes
- The eLearning Module Sexual Violence and Harassment: How to Support Yourself and your Peers
- Information on the workshops we offer for second level and third level students
- Videos about consent
- The national and local support services for survivors of sexual violence
And lots more!
Education through creativity
A lot of the messages we get about sex and consent come from pop culture like film and TV, and using visual media as learning opportunities for young people to talk about sex and consent is a great opportunity to explore those messages in more depth.
On our Instagram account, we do deep dives into popular TV shows like Bridgerton and Normal People to pick apart the messages about sex, consent, and healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics. This encourages our young followers to think critically about how they see sex and consent depicted on screen, instead of assuming that it is how their own experiences should look.
Recently, we worked on a project with animation students in IADT (Dun Laoghaire Institute for Art and Design) and the UCC Bystander Intervention project, called Moving Parts.
Moving Parts is a series of animations tackling sexual violence, and covers topics such as intimate image abuse, communicating consent and how to be an active bystander in cases of harassment and assault.
We know that for many people talking about these topics can be awkward and embarrassing, as well as not knowing where to start. So IADT students participated in Active* Consent workshops, the eLearning Module and the UCC Bystander Intervention Programme, to gain awareness about consent as well as sexual violence prevention. Then, we worked with the students to see what issues they felt most passionate about, and supported them to translate these ideas creatively into thought-provoking videos. It was really amazing for the Active* Consent team to work with these talented young students as they engaged with our programme, and then shared the insights they had gained in their own unique way.
The power of social media
Young people are ALWAYS hearing about the negative effects of social media. While social media definitely has its flaws, it’s important to look at how social media can be used for good. Social media can be a powerful tool for sharing information and educating people while they’re simply scrolling online.
We would like to say a massive thank you to the team at Active* Consent for taking the time to write a guest post for us! You can follow them on Instagram and keep up to date with all things Active* Consent and don’t forget to pop over to www.consenthub.ie!
If you would like to support us and the work that we do, you can find out more below