By Ashley Maier on April 14, 2014 · tagged as , , , ,

We talk about consent A LOT

2 stick figures holding handsIn the sexual and domestic violence prevention worlds, we talk about consent a lot.  I mean, a lot.  As a training and technical assistance provider, I received countless requests for resources about consent – definitions, especially.  And there are so many out there.

A colleague from the Oregon Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence recently shared this blog post about consent.  It breaks down the “yes means yes” approach in full detail, with relatable and somewhat amusing examples.

Good sex is like running together while holding hands. Both people running. You have to be paying attention to your partner at all times, because if you let go, you’re no longer running together. You can let go or they can let go at any time. You can’t get started or change speed or direction without buy-in from your partner. Consent is keeping a hold of your partner’s hand, agreeing to go with them, agreeing to not leave them behind.

I love how the post, several times, refers to being a decent human being.  After all, as my colleagues and I often lament, isn’t that what it’s all about?  I also love the affirmative, positive approach in the post.  And this brings up a newly emerging question: Why the consent approach?  Do we know that sexual violence takes place because people don’t know what consent is?

The above is a tough question, but one we need to ask.  We can all agree that it never hurts to write and teach about consent, what it means, and what it looks like.  Read on for more about consent in practice, and check out the additional links in the post.

Ashley Maier

More Posts by Ashley Maier

Ashley Maier, MSW, MPA, has worked in the movement to end gendered violence for well over a decade. She began as a volunteer at a domestic violence shelter in Illinois, served as a hospital-based advocate in St. Louis, coordinated community health/family violence training programs for pediatric residents in St. Louis and San Diego, and managed Oregon’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grantees and program. Ashley is a contributing author to Lantern Book’s 2013 publication, Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and The Sexual Politics of Meat and is creator of the 2015 book, Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice.

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