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Open Right

Clementine Ford: Encouraging Affirmative Consent

Session Info:

There seems to be a lot of confusion around what constitutes consent. No might mean no, but what happens you never hear it?

What if we radically changed the way we defined consent, and the securing of it? What if instead of fixating on whether or not someone is clearly saying ‘no’, we prioritised instead the message that they are definitely saying ‘yes’?

It’s called affirmative consent, and it’s gaining popularity at college campuses across America (a demographic in which 1 in 5 women currently report having experienced sexual assault).

This session aims to radically change the way teens view sexual interaction. By shifting the focus onto affirmative consent and sex with an expectation of dignity, we can positively disrupt attitudes that lead to assaults and mistreatment.


  • What does sexual consent look like?
  • Is consent a one stop shop, or an ongoing conversation between you and your partner(s)?
  • How does affirmative consent differ from the traditional teachings that ‘no means no’?
  • What signs should we be looking for when it comes to identifying consent?
  • Why is it the responsibility of everyone to ensure sexual consent is respected?
  • What should you do if you think consent has been withdrawn?


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