Verbal ‘yes’ or it’s rape
IF you want sex you have to ask for it and get a verbal yes from your prospective partner, a high-ranking minister said last night, as the government prepared to release a new strategy against sexual assault.
The state's first Sexual Assault Strategy will have consent around sex at the core of the policy, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
"If you want sex you have to ask for it and if you want that sex, you have to say yes," Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Minister Pru Goward told The Daily Telegraph.
"It is a responsibility, both in the ask and in the reply."
Ms Goward has already sent off the legal question around consent laws to be reviewed by the NSW Law Reform Commission, and will today launch the entire suite of reforms.
Under the package, training for frontline sexual assault health workers will be beefed up, schoolchildren will be given more lessons on protecting themselves from harassment and a $1 million new advertising campaign will target young adults socialising in pubs, clubs and universities on how to "obtain a clear yes".
"The impact of sexual assault on victims is profound and long-lasting, and it requires a whole of community response if we are to reduce the number of incidents and the damage caused by this crime," Ms Goward said.
"Whether it is the failure to seek consent, refusal to recognise when someone cannot give consent or ignoring their refusal, consent is at the heart of the continuum of sexual offending."
Young adults socialising in pubs, bars and clubs bars and universities will be educated that "no means no" via social media, as well as with posters, signs and possibly beer coasters featuring messages like "silence is not a yes".
"The campaign will identify the continuum of sexual harassment to sexual assault, consent and address the role the bystander and community can play in identifying sexual offending and speaking out," the official strategy says.
The issue of consent has come to the fore as part of the #MeToo movement, and was highlighted at the recent court case of Luke Lazarus, the son of a Kings Cross nightclub boss who was found innocent of raping an 18-year-old because he did not have knowledge that she did not consent.
Sexual assaults have risen in NSW - in the 12 months to 2018 NSW Police received 13,309 incident reports and figures last week revealed a 12 per cent increase in victims in the last year.
As part of the strategy, sexual assault experts will provide input into the NSW Education Standards Authority Review of the K-12 curriculum to provide content relating to the "continuum of sexual violence" and future teacher training.
TEENAGE SCHOOLGIRLS HARASSED BY CREEPS DURING DAILY TRAVEL
Teenage schoolgirls have revealed how they are being regularly harassed and targeted by men because they are dressed in school uniform.
A report from children's charity, Plan International, shows girls as young as 12 are reporting being intimidated and propositioned on their way to and from school by male commuter creeps.
Girls commented anonymously on a safety map developed by Plan International and Monash University, describing harrowing stories of what they're enduring when going about their regular routines.
Some say they are even forced to change out of their uniform to avoid being targeted.
"I'm 14 and find it hard to travel anywhere in my school uniform because I'm sick of being scared. If my school find out (I'm not in uniform), I'll be in trouble but I travel on my own. My mum knows I do this," one user wrote.
"As a schoolgirl, in school uniform, I often had to get the bus during school hours alone to go to the orthodontist by myself waiting at the bus stop. I was almost always propositioned by men in cars who would drive into the bus stopping zone to 'chat'," another said.
Another pupil noted how "once a man was so distracted harassing me from his car, he ran into the back of the car in front of him. I was 14 years old."
Young female students who travel regularly on public transport told The Daily Telegraph they tended to feel safer in numbers.
Three Newtown High School of the Performing Arts students said they wore baggy clothes and hoodies to avoid their gender being easily identified.
"I find buses to be more dodgy because trains at least are lit up," Rainbow Yang said.
Seventeen-year-old Mahni from Gosford said: "I'm a black-belt and I still don't feel safe travelling on my own."
WHAT THEY SAID ...
"I was catcalled 5 or 6 times in a row as a 13 year old in school uniform. Cursed at, yelled at in the afternoon on a weekend day."
"I was almost always propositioned by men in cars who would drive into the bus stopping zone to 'chat'."
"I was wolf-whistled here by someone on a train as I walked up the deserted platform on a Sunday. I was 14 years old and wearing my school sports uniform."
"From the age of 11 I experienced men shouting obscenities at me, beeping their horns or cat calling almost on a daily basis."
"Once a man was so distracted harassing me from his car, he ran into the back of the car
in front of him. I was 14 years old."
"I was 14 years old and he called me baby and other demeaning things as well as openly leered at my boobs."