Consent is Everything
As more people in the U.S. get vaccinated against COVID-19 and rediscover in-person socializing, questions about physical touch and closeness remain. Am I a hugger now? Are my friends comfortable with hugs? What about posting our meet up on social media or taking photos? Conversations about boundaries and consent are always important in these interactions, and everyday consent remains critical to maintaining all kinds of relationships.
Youth and recent graduates from Seattle Public Schools created a brief video with Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center called Consent is Everything. This video explores all kinds of situations — both sexual and not — where they ask and would want to be asked for consent. The youth and young adults in this video share that consent is everything, and all the time, not just in sexual interactions. Normalizing and practicing consent in everyday life, like what one person said, “when they’re taking photos,” is a great way to respect the boundaries of those around us and to build skill around consent to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence. The stars of this video also describe how power impacts consent. This short video can be a great resource for other prevention practitioners to share with the youth and young adults in their lives, or can serve as inspiration to create something similar or have similar conversations with their communities. View the video below or on YouTube, and ask yourself and your communities the question at the end of the video: When do you pledge to ask for consent?