(con)sensual is committed to shifting the campus culture at The American University by ending rape-prone policies, fighting rape-prone attitudes, and empowering students through sex-positivity and dialogue about sexual consent.
We seek to foster safe sexual spaces; create dialogue in relationships and inspire communication about respect, consent, boundaries, and sexuality; break the silence surrounding issues of rape and sexual assault on campus; build knowledge and end myths about consent; and increase safety of all students on campus relating to sexual violence and harassment.
CONSENT, RAPE, AND RESPECT
Seeking verbal consent ensures that all participants in sexual activity are comfortable with what is going on or going to happen. This guarantees that all parties involved are also given the ability and opportunity to reject sexual activity in a safe space. The ability to consent to sexual activity gives all people an enhanced sense of control over their sexuality.
By creating a campus culture that encourages and expects its citizens to seek consent, students can expect to feel less endangered and more empowered. Rape- prone values (like the false notion that silence is equitable with compliance or that coercion is an acceptable behavior) are destroyed and changed by societies where consent is valued by creating a climate where respect is expected from every sexual partner.
The victim-blaming mentality that is often forced on rape and sexual assault survivors (“asking for it,” and the idea that rape prevention comes in the form of chastity) is a direct result of rape-prone societal values. Seeking verbal consent reduces the likelihood that any person will be forced or coerced into sexual activity or will be held accountable if they are. When verbal consent is normalized as a part of sexual activity, survivors of assault will no longer have to explain “how” their situation “qualifies” as assault.
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