Thursday, February 8, 2024

Culture of Consent for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here! Whether you love using this holiday to profess your love to your significant other, or you dislike ‘Hallmark holidays’ in general, it provides an opportunity for the community to discuss consent, sexual health and substance use. 

No one deserves or asks to be sexually assaulted, no matter their use of drugs or alcohol. Consent cannot be given while high, drunk, or otherwise impaired. Period. 

Creating a culture of consent means: 

  • Asking for Consent! Asking is important in all relationships, whether you just met the person, or you’ve known them for a long time. It’s important to communicate and check in throughout the interaction 
  • Listen and Respect the Answer! Provide reassurance and validation, don’t pressure someone into saying yes or changing their answer. Look for verbal and non-verbal cues to see if someone is interested or enjoying themselves or not and stop as soon as you are asked or they change their mind 
  • Ensure Healthy Coping for Rejection! Rejection sucks, it is okay to be upset or hurt, but you are responsible for managing those feelings. Take a walk, debrief with friends, or do an activity that brings you joy 
  • Be an Active Bystander! If you see something that doesn’t look right or gives you a weird feeling in your stomach, find a way to intervene that is safe for all parties involved, including yourself. Ask for help or delegate and most importantly care for the survivor, check in and ask how you can best support them 

Check out this Consensual Sex Guide (PDF, 212KB) resource from the Carleton Sexual Assault Support Centre.   

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, know that you are not alone, it is not your fault and that there are many supports and resources available to you. There are both Carleton-specific and off-campus supports and more info and resources available from CUSASC. 

Thursday, February 8, 2024 in , , ,
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