Building Consent Communities
In our efforts to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence, it’s so important we not only take a stand against violence, but also envision healthy and joyful alternatives. This is why building consent communities is a key part of our work. We most often define consent as a clear and enthusiastic “yes,” which is an active, voluntary, and verbal agreement that happens as a process and a conversation. Yet consent is not just about individual actions or behaviors, but rather exists within all relationship dynamics, cultural beliefs, and larger societal systems. Building a consent culture requires we normalize and encourage the everyday use of consent in all interactions. Below are a few our projects and resources to support your efforts to promote consent, explore joyful sexuality, and work to end rape culture.
The Teach Consent campaign was designed to promote healthy relationships among youth ages 11 to 16 and consists of a short video and discussion guide. Not all youth are dating, but most have probably thought about what it means to be in a dating relationship. Attitudes and beliefs formed during these critical years will most likely affect how they treat their dating partners now and in the future. An important step of preventing sexual abuse and dating violence is ensuring youth have access to accurate information, opportunities to think critically, and practice consent skills.
- The ASK.LISTEN. RESPECT. video provides youth concrete examples of how to ask for consent, what enthusiastic, verbal consent looks like, and how to accept “no” as normal boundary-setting in relationships.
- The video and accompanying discussion guides can help spark conversations with teens about respectful relationships, the importance of consent, and how teens can ask for and give consent in their friendships and dating relationships. The activities can be used in a classroom setting, with a small group of tweens/teens, or one-on-one with an adult who can lead an informed discussion.
- Access the discussion guide created for parents here: http://www.teachconsent.org/parents
- Access the discussion guide created for group facilitators here: http://www.teachconsent.org/facilitators
The Action Alliance defines a “rape culture” as one that normalizes and rationalizes sexual violence as inevitable and a part of “natural” human behavior rather than understanding violence as structurally and culturally created and sustained.
- The Rape Culture Pyramid and Ending Rape Culture Activity were created by the Action Alliance as a resource for community agencies, educators, and organizers to better understand and talk about rape culture.
- Inside this resource you will find facilitator tips, talking points, group discussion questions, an activity page, and several resources. We estimate this activity can be completed in 1 hour.
- Access the Ending Rape Culture Activity Zine through the Community Solutions Virginia resource clearinghouse.
Healthy sexuality promotion plays a key role in preventing sexual violence. Over the last decade, the Action Alliance been leading efforts to promote best practices of healthy sexuality as a primary prevention strategy.
The Action Alliance offers our “Joyful Sexuality and Reproductive Justice” training to explore the ways that joyful sexuality can connect to prevention and building holistic services for survivors of sexual violence. Learn more and register for an upcoming training on our training page.