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Published on: 11th January 2021 by Angela Walton

Know if you’re a victim – video released on sexual consent.

Safer Communities’ Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Teesside released a video to help people understand the importance of  sexual consent and who is responsible.

Our Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS) works with all victims of crime, whether you have reported anything to the police or not.  We also link directly with SARC to offer support to anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or any other sexual abuse – a service that is free and is still fully available despite the challenges around Covid-19.

Kay Davies, SARC Teesside link worker, said: “This is a really important message for us to share and since we’ve been very restricted during the pandemic in doing outreach, so we created something digital to replace that.

“Most of the time when people talk about consent, they’re referring to some kind of sexual or physical activity with someone else – consent is about openly talking and agreeing on what kind of activity you want to engage in understanding when no means no.

“It’s really important for everyone to feel comfortable with what’s happening; Both parties need to seek and give consent but, it is ultimately the person seeking that consent who has the responsibility to ensure it is given and understood.  We hope this video gets the message across and we urge people to share it for us.”

The organisation issues the following advice to those seeking consent:

  • If in any doubt, assume that consent has NOT been given.
  • It’s also important to check that the other person continues to consent – ask ‘Are you happy with this?’ and ‘Are you sure?’, and to stop immediately if the answer is not ‘yes’ (the absence of a ‘no’ is not the same as a ‘yes’).
  • Saying ‘If you don’t want to, that’s ok’ is also very important.

Sexual activity without consent is an offence.

SARC Teesside provide a 24/7 service for anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or other sexual abuse. This service is FULLY operational.

The service is free, you do not have to report anything to the police to receive advice and support.

SARC Teesside is about offering choices.

Specially trained staff can explain and discuss all the options. Services include:Risk and need assessment to make sure you are safe

Referrals to external agencies with the appropriate consent for specialist counselling and therapeutic supportOngoing support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)

Find out more at www.sarcteesside.co.uk