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March 5, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Don’t Guess the Yes Campaign Launch

The new “Don’t Guess the Yes” anti-sexual violence campaign was launched on 23 February 2018, in time for O-Week.

The campaign emphasises gaining active consent from prospective sexual partners, with a strong focus on prevention.

The campaign has been a collaboration between Wellington City Council, The New Zealand Police, The Sexual Abuse Prevention Network, and the Massey Wellington and Victoria University Wellington Student Associations.

Other groups and individuals were also acknowledged as significant to the campaign: The Wellington Youth Council, MOSAIC, Eva McGauley, and Deputy Mayor Jill Day,  in particular were recognised.

Both Fiona McNamara of the Sexual Violence Prevention Network and Undersecretary for Justice Jan Logie outlined their desires to eliminate sexual violence in their lifetimes.

McNamara further said that sexual violence will affect everyone, but that she considered it “absolutely preventable”.

Detective Sergeant Ben Quinn, a member of the Wellington Police Sexual Assault Team, explained that a rise in the sexual assault rate in Wellington in 2017 had spurred the campaign.

The campaign targets young men as the most likely demographic to commit sexual assault, and young women those most likely to be victims.

Quinn also acknowledged the variety of ways sexual assault manifests, and that targeting people other than perpetrators and victims was important for prevention. This is a goal of the police’s  broader #MakeBetterDecisions campaign.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons also hoped to eliminate sexual violence in Wellington, indicating that a campaign similar to this would have been unheard of when she was at university.

She said it was an important message to get out that “consent is active”.

The Victoria University of Wellington and the Massey Wellington Campus Student Associations had been involved with the project for several weeks, mainly around the content and wording of the campaign.

In a joint Student Association statement, Victoria University of Wellington Student Association President Marlon Drake said both student unions were committed to ending sexual violence in the city.

Massey Wellington Student Association President Emma Pearce said the campaign was about promoting the idea of “treating others with respect”.

The launch was held at Danger Danger on Friday 23 February, just prior to the commencement of O-Week at Victoria University.

Wellington Sexual Abuse Help Foundation — 04 801 6655

See the Victoria Campus Health Website for more contact details.

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