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Consent Education and Awareness Campaigns

One part of a comprehensive prevention strategy can be increasing knowledge and awareness of elements of consent, the importance of consent, identifying examples where consent is not freely given as rape or sexual assault, and making getting consent a community norm and expectation. The assumption of these kinds of activities is that people don’t have a full understanding of consent, and that if they did, there would be less rape.

Consent campaigns and education should be careful not to imply that sexual assault is simply a misunderstanding, as this can ignore the power dynamics that underly sexual assault.



California passed legislation requiring all universities that receive state funding for financial aid to establish a standard of affirmative consent. Several other colleges and universities use a similar standard, including Duke University, Yale University, and Dartmouth College. Consent campaigns could advocate further adoption of an affirmative consent standard, or where it already exists, educating those bound to the standard about what it entails.

Dating Abuse: Tools for Talking to Teens helps students recognize healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships. This 5-minute video is part of a workshop for adults, but could be shown to youth.

The Signs was created and written by Long Island teenagers about teen dating violence and explores non-physical types of abuse such as control, isolation, and threats. Ask students what signs of abuse they noticed in the 4-minute video and how they would help a friend in that situation

Teach Consent (Ages 11-16) This seems appropriate for younger students and normalizes consent seeking behavior whether we’re asking if someone wants to hang out, date, or kiss.

The STAND UP video to prevent sexual violence is youth created by OAESV and addresses bystander behavior.

For high schoolers, you can use Planned Parenthood’s Consent Video Series and lesson plan – these are focused on the person initiating sex, which tends to go over better in a predominantly male audience.

The Can I Wear Your Hat? video to be used in faith based institutions.

Laci Green’s Consent 101 video in high school, as well as these kiss videos from Buzzfeed for middle school:

A campaign called Ask.Listen.Respect – intended to reach tweens/teens (11-16 years) on the issues of consent and communication you’ll find the video, campaign materials, and sections of the site dedicated to parents and facilitators who’d like to get the conversation going. There’s a more detailed facilitator guide that provides context and activity-suggestions for youth-group settings.