New campaign as consent laws about to go live

In the lead up to new consent laws coming into effect next month, the NSW Government today launched a new community education campaign empowering young people to check consent before engaging in sexual activity.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the Make No Doubt campaign supports the NSW Government’s sexual consent laws, which passed the Parliament almost unanimously last November and come into effect on 1 June 2022.

“Our consent law reforms commence six months after assent to give police and the courts time to implement them, including through training, educative materials, and technical updates,” Mr Speakman said.

“These reforms make it clear that if you want to engage in sexual activity with someone, then they need to do or say something to show consent or you need to do or say something to seek consent.

“These reforms are not just about holding perpetrators to account, but changing social behaviour.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the new campaign is a key element of the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to preventing and responding to sexual assault.

“No law can ever erase the trauma of sexual assault, but we have listened to calls for change and consulted victim-survivors and legal experts to improve our response to sexual violence, including the need for community education about consent,” Mrs Ward said.

“Through a series of short videos on targeted social and digital media, this campaign will empower young people to check consent every time they engage in sexual activity.

“This important initiative will build on our work to address harmful attitudes that continue to contribute to non-consensual sexual activity and sexual assault, particularly among young people aged 16 to 24.”

Survivor Advocate and Director of Rape & Sexual Assault Research & Advocacy, Saxon Mullins said she was happy to be involved in the campaign.

“Using real people and real scenarios helps to not only ensure people understand what the expectations are, but highlights just how easy it is to check for consent and to do the right thing,” Ms Mullins said.

“This is a really powerful campaign that I believe will make a massive impact.”

Chanel Contos, CEO & Founder of Teach Us Consent Movement said she was excited to see the campaign go live.

“It’s great to have examples of what ‘yes’ looks like, and more importantly what ‘no’ looks like and how to respond when you sense that someone is not comfortable, or check that they are,” Ms Contos said.

“It shows the dynamic ways of checking consent through not just words, but body language.

“It’s great to see affirmative consent and examples of consent in action being portrayed in media.”

The NSW Government debuted Make No Doubt in 2018 and followed up with a second phase in 2019. Phase three of Make No Doubt will run for 12 weeks from 25 May 2022.

The videos are the product of nine months of consultation with numerous stakeholders, including sexual violence service providers and community groups.

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