Mandatory consent classes for all third level students

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After recent cases of sexual assault and rape in the media, it is evident that issues to do with consent are at play in our society. In the alleged Belfast rape trial, Paddy Jackson stated that in his case he 'presume[d] she [the woman who made the claim of rape against him] wanted it to happen' (The Irish Times, 2018). It is about time that third level institutions are supported to give mandatory consent classes to all incoming first years. 

I believe that this is the first step in changing our attitudes and approaches to sexual consent in our society. Furthermore, we should implement mandatory consent classes in the workplace, and in schools across the nation. Let our past of neglecting consent as a serious issue remain in the past, and not hold us back in our ever-changing society.

We fought for marriage equality, we won. Despite the label that Ireland is a backward, Catholic country we proved the world over that we are an outspoken, democratic nation that supports and respects the rights of its citizens. We were the first nation to legalise marriage equality by popular vote and it sent waves across the world, encouraging many nations to follow suit. So let's continue this wonderful journey of changing our society's attitudes and giving the rights and respect to our own people. 

Recent statistics cited in TheJournal.ie show the opinions of many Irish citizens on certain areas of consent, which appear to be ill-informed and in favor of lack of consent if the person is drunk or wearing revealing clothing: 

''The Eurobarometer poll found 11% of Irish people think being drunk or on drugs justifies sex without consent and 9% think it is okay if a person voluntarily goes home with someone or is wearing “revealing, provocative or sexy clothing”.

''The poll indicates 27% of EU respondents believe sex without consent is okay in certain situations.''

''7% of Irish people surveyed agreed sexual intercourse without consent is justified if the person is out walking alone at night.''

''18% of Irish respondents also agreed that violence against women is often provoked by the victim.''

However, it also makes a statement in support of the criminalisation of sexual harassment which gives us hope that there is support in Ireland for a change in law and cultural values on the matter-

''The poll also found the vast majority of Irish people think sending unwanted sexual messages, making sexual suggestive comments to a woman in the street and touching a colleague inappropriately is wrong and should be punishable by law.''

Please sign this petition to call on our third level institutions and the government to enforce mandatory consent classes for all those in third level education, and become a part of the solution. 

Disclaimer: I am a 3rd level student and these are opinions I hold myself, I only wish to encourage others to sign this petition so that we can show the governing bodies and third level institutions that the public are in favor of mandatory consent classes in third level institutions. If you want to contact me on any issues you have with this petition please do so. 

 

References:

-https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/paddy-jackson-i-didn-t-force-myself-on-her-i-presume-she-wanted-it-to-happen-1.3403179 

-http://www.thejournal.ie/sex-consent-survey-3102174-Nov2016/ 



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